Antimicrobial releasing hydrogel forming microneedles

Joseph G Turner, Maisem Laabei, Shuxian Li, Pedro Estrela, Hannah S Leese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogel-forming microneedle arrays as a technique for transdermal drug delivery show promise as an alternative to traditional drug delivery methods. In this work, hydrogel-forming microneedles have been created with effective, controlled delivery of amoxicillin and vancomycin within comparable therapeutic ranges to that of oral delivered antibiotics. Fabrication using reusable 3D printed master templates enabled quick and low-cost hydrogel microneedle manufacturing through micro-molding. By 3D printing at a tilt angle of 45° the resolution of the microneedle tip was improved by double (from ca. 64 μm down to 23 μm). Amoxicillin and vancomycin were encapsulated within the hydrogel's polymeric network through a unique room temperature swell/deswell drug loading method within minutes, eliminating the need for an external drug reservoir. The hydrogel-forming microneedle mechanical strength was maintained, and successful penetration of porcine skin grafts observed with negligible damage to the needles or surrounding skin morphology. Hydrogel swell rate was tailored by altering the crosslinking density, resulting in controlled antimicrobial release for an applicable delivered dosage. The potent antimicrobial properties of the antibiotic-loaded hydrogel-forming microneedles against both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, highlights the beneficial use of hydrogel-forming microneedles towards the minimally invasive transdermal drug delivery of antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213467
Number of pages11
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Early online date23 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s).


  • Swine
  • Animals
  • Hydrogels
  • Vancomycin
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Amoxicillin


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