Dissolving microneedles (DMNs) are microscopic needles capable of delivering encapsulated compounds and releasing them into the skin in a minimally invasive manner. Most studies indicate that encapsulating therapeutics in DMNs is an efficacious approach; however, the importance of evaluating the activity of encapsulated compounds, during the fabrication process, has not been examined in detail. Conducting an analysis of thermal, chemical, and physical stress factors, including temperature, pH, and the interaction of the polymer and therapeutics mixture during preparation, is essential for retaining the activity of encapsulated therapeutics during and after fabrication. Here, we optimised the thermal, chemical, and physical parameters for the fabrication of exendin-4 (Ex-4)-encapsulated DMNs (Ex-4 DMNs). Ex-4, a peptide agonist of glucagon-like peptide (GLP) receptor, is used for glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Our findings indicate that optimising the parameters involved in DMN fabrication retained the activity of Ex-4 by up to 98.3 ± 1.5%. Ex-4 DMNs reduced the blood-glucose level in diabetic mice with efficiency similar to that of a subcutaneous injection. We believe that this study paves way for the commercialisation of an efficient and minimally invasive treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes.
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© 2018 The Author(s).
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