Microneedle Systems for Vaccine Delivery: the story so far

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2020 Dec;19(12):1153-1166. doi: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1874928. Epub 2021 Jan 22.


Introduction: Vaccine delivery via a microneedle (MN) system has been identified as a potential alternative to conventional vaccine delivery. MN can be self-administered, is pain-free and is capable of producing superior immunogenicity. Over the last few decades, significant research has been carried out in this area, and this review aims to provide a comprehensive picture on the progress of this delivery platform.

Areas covered: This review highlights the potential role of skin as a vaccine delivery route using a microneedle system, examines recent advancements in microneedle fabrication techniques, and provides an update on potential preclinical and clinical studies on vaccine delivery through microneedle systems against various infectious diseases. Articles for the review study were searched electronically in PubMed, Google, Google Scholar, and Science Direct using specific keywords to cover the scope of the article. The advanced search strategy was employed to identify the most relevant articles.

Expert opinion: A significant number of MN mediated vaccine candidates have shown promising results in preclinical and clinical trials. The recent emergence of cleanroom free, 3D or additive manufacturing of MN systems and stability, together with the dose-sparing capacity of the Nanopatch® system, have made this platform, commercially, highly lucrative.

Keywords: Skin; fabrication; immunogenicity; microneedle; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Immunogenicity, Vaccine
  • Needles
  • Self Administration
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*


  • Vaccines