Microneedles are tiny needles, small enough that they are measured in millionths of a meter, designed to deliver medicines. Typically grouped together in a large number, microneedles are designed to be applied to the skin like a patch. When pressed onto the skin surface, the needles are able to cross the very outermost layer of the skin, which then creates microscopic pores, allowing the medicine to enter the body. Because the needles are very small, the dermal nerves and blood vessels are not affected, so there is no pain or bleeding when the patch is applied. The needles are hard when they are dry, so they can be easily applied to the skin. The medicine is held in a reservoir adjacent to the microneedles. When inserted, the microneedles draw in the fluid that bathes cells, and they then begin to swell. This opens up the structure of the material. When the fluid from the skin enters the patch, it dissolves the reservoir that holds the medicine, which is then able to move through the microneedles into the dermal layers of the skin that is rich in blood vessels. These blood vessels then transport the medicine to the rest of the body.
Advantages of microneedle drug delivery systems include the prevention of gastrointestinal degradation and food-related inconsistency in absorption, avoidance of first pass hepatic metabolism, possibility of improved bioavailability, maintenance of relatively constant plasma concentrations for up to 7 days with the same patch and elimination of pain, discomfort, risk of infection and poor compliance associated with injections.
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The global market for microneedle drug delivery systems market is segmented on basis of device types, end user and geography:
- Segmentation by Device Types
- Solid Microneedles
- Silicon Microprobes
- Silicon Microneedles
- Metal Microneedles
- Hollow Microneedles
- Silicon Hollow Microneedles
- Metal Hollow Microneedles
- Glass Hollow Microneedles
- Solid Microneedles
- Segmentation by End User
- Research Centers
The global microneedle drug delivery system market is forecast to have remarkable opportunities in new drug delivery systems and, potentially, monitoring/diagnostic systems based upon microneedle technologies. Microneedles have many advantages over conventional needle-and-syringe-based delivery systems for biological agents, in particular, in terms of reduced pain, infection risk and the ability to control administration. Once regulatory hurdles are overcome and manufacturing processes are developed, optimized and validated to current good manufacturing practice standards, the benefits for patients, and ultimately for the industry, will be considerable and highly valued.
Most microneedle formulate biomolecules, such as vaccine antigens in the dry state, will reduce the issues related to cold chain. Needle stick injuries also will be avoided. Accordingly, the potential impact of microneedle research and ultimate commercialization is growing. Once vaccine products are accepted by regulators, healthcare providers and patients, other microneedle-based products for everyday patient and consumer use will become widely used to the benefit of the pharmaceutical, medical devices and cosmetics industries and patients worldwide.
With growing interest in alternative routes of drug administration transdermal and intradermal drug delivery systems, it is expected to drive the growth of microneedle drug delivery systems market. The industry is on the threshold of bringing into commercial production a new generation of therapies and delivery systems.
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On the basis of regional presence, the global microneedle drug delivery systems market is segmented into five key regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to lead the global microneedle drug delivery systems market in terms of value due to high adoption rate through 2024. Europe is expected to be the second largest market for microneedle drug delivery systems market. Among the European countries, Germany is anticipated to be the significant contributor in the region for microneedle drug delivery systems market. Asia Pacific and Latin America are projected to be the fastest growing regions. Middle East & Africa would witness relatively slower growth in microneedle drug delivery systems market during the forecast period.
Some of the major players in global microneedle drug delivery systems market are 3M Company, Pfizer, F. Hoffman La Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Bayer, etc. among other significant players.