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Nat Biomed Eng. 2019 Mar;3(3):220-229. doi: 10.1038/s41551-018-0337-4. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Rapidly separable microneedle patch for the sustained release of a contraceptive.

Author information

1
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Biointerfaces Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
3
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA. prausnitz@gatech.edu.

Abstract

Women often have limited access to contraception, and barrier methods have low acceptance and a high failure rate, mostly due to incorrect use, which can result in unplanned pregnancies. Sustained-release formulations of contraceptive hormones are available, yet typically require their administration by trained personnel. Here, we report the design of a microneedle patch with rapidly separable biodegradable polylactic acid and polylactic-co-glycolic acid needles, and its application for the continuous release of levonorgestrel-a contraceptive hormone. Bubble structures between each microneedle and the patch backing allow the microneedles to efficiently penetrate skin under compression, and to snap off under shear within five seconds after patch administration. In rats, the microneedle patch was well tolerated, leaving little visible evidence of use, and maintained plasma concentrations of the hormone above the human therapeutic level for one month. Further development of the rapidly separable microneedle patch for self-administered, long-acting contraception could enable women to better control their fertility.

PMID:
30948808
DOI:
10.1038/s41551-018-0337-4

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