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Microneedle Technology for Bioanalysis - Avens Blog | Avens Blog

Microneedle Technology for Bioanalysis

The microneedles resemble hollow cones and are less than half a millimeter in length – they are designed to puncture only the outer layer of skin, which acts as a protective barrier, but not the epidermis or dermis, which comprise nerves, blood vessels and active immune cells. Microneedles can be fabricated in different forms: hollow, solid, and dissolving. There are also hydrogel-forming microneedles. A special attention is paid to hydrogel-forming microneedles.

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A novel microneedle drug monitoring system is developed for monitoring drug concentration in the bloodstreams without having to draw blood. The device can replace blood tests in one day, both reducing healthcare costs and improving patient comfort. It is inserted against a patient’s arm to painlessly monitor the drug concentration in their bloodstream during treatment. Drug monitoring measures of medication concentration in blood i.e.; how much drug that can be easily be under or overdosed.

An antibiotic drug vancomycin mainly used to treat bacterial infections as a first-line treatment for complicated skin infections; bloodstream infections and joint & bone infections is administered intravenously by using microneedle. Due to the serious side effects that the drug can cause, patients must undergo three to four blood tests per day whilst being treated-the new microneedle system would alleviate the need for blood tests, drastically improving patient comfort and reducing costs. So, the concentration of vancomycin is successfully resulted just below the outer layer of skin. So, that microneedle collects less than a millionth of a milliliter of this fluid, which then reacts inside the microneedle and produces a result that can be observed by an optical sensor.

It is mainly helpful for clinicians to quickly determine the blood drug concentration, allowing them to act quickly if it is too high or too low. Microneedle can also useful for transdermal drug delivery systems. This device is capable of both collecting the fluid and performing the analysis. This technology is used for testing blood, microfluidics, diagnosis and therapeutic drug monitoring. It is mainly commercialized microdermics in Canada. So, the technology plays a major role to determine concentration of drug in the blood streams.

Caution: “Using them to painlessly monitor drugs is a newer idea”

Journal of Bioanalysis & Biostatistics

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