Fujifilm develops new micro-needle array

For delivering drugs into the body by attaching the array onto the skin

A sample of the micro-array needle developed by Fujifilm

Fujifilm Corporation has developed a micro-needle array for drug delivery that has gained attention for delivering the drug into the body just by attaching it to the skin.

A micro-needle array is a sheet arrayed with projections of 100–2,000 micrometres. When the sheet is placed on the skin surface, the drug is injected into the skin from the projections and delivered into the body, without causing the pain of a standard injection. As drugs are efficiently delivered to affected areas, micro-needles are projected to become a new method of drug delivery.

The projections of the micro-needle array are made of polysaccharides, which dissolve into the skin within minutes and the drug is then delivered into the body. Array types with projections that do not dissolve into the skin could break off and remain inside the body. However, there is no risk of this with Fujifilm's micro-needle array because the projections do not retain their form.

Fujifilm’s technology incorporates the high-precision processing developed through the manufacturing of photographic films.

The array can also be designed and mass-produced with projections of any desired length or form.

Animal experiments using micro-needle arrays filled with vaccines and hormones are currently taking place with mice, and have already proved to generate the same amount or more antibodies than an injection. Preparations will soon take place for clinical research with humans. Equipment to manufacture investigational new drugs, compliant with GMP, will also be developed and start operations in the latter half of next year.

Fujifilm also aims to cooperate with pharmaceutical manufacturers to broaden applications for the micro-needle arrays.