HELP US SHAPE THE FUTURE
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58 Davies Street, London, W1K 5JF
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Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE MICRONEEDLES?
Microneedles are microscopic needles, designed to deliver medicines and vaccines through the skin. There is no medical definition (yet), however it is generally accepted that the microneedle length should be less that than 1 millimetre long, normally measured as 1,000μm (micrometres / microns) and 1-100 microns wide.
WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF MICRONEEDLES?
The concept of microneedles was first mentioned in 1970, however, they were not manufactured/produced until the introduction of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in 1998.
HOW DO MICRONEEDLES WORK?
Microneedles work by perforating the thin outer layer of the skin (10-50μm) called the “stratum corneum” which then creates microscopic pores, allowing the medicine or vaccine to enter the body. By enabling fluid sensing, they also have the potential to be used for diagnostic testing and healthcare monitoring.
HOW DO MICRONEEDLES DIFFER FROM CONVENTIONAL INJECTIONS?
Unlike the sharp hypodermic needles and syringes typically used to administer injections, microneedles have more in common with the skin patches used for pain relief or nicotine patches to help people give up smoking. Even though they share the term “needle” and do “inject” treatments, they behave and act differently, and should be considered so.
WHAT ARE MICRONEEDLES MADE OF?
Microneedles are made from a variety of materials such as glass, silicon, titanium, stainless steel, and polymers. Innoture only uses biocompatible polymer materials, to reduce the risk of side effects and are developing new polymers for the long term.
HOW ARE MICRONEEDLES MADE?
Microneedles can be made using a number of different processes. Innoture uses a patented microlithographic 3D printing and computer aided design process, using ultraviolet (UV) curable polymers. A validation of Innoture’s patented manufacturing to confirm process achieves
HOW MANY MICRONEEDLE PATCHES CAN BE MANUFACTURED?
By using novel 3D printing processes, the production of microneedles can be quickly upscaled and mass manufactured to deliver economies of scale. Innoture can simultaneously produce 500 microneedle patches (size dependent) in 52 seconds. Manufacturing can be rapidly upscaled to produce almost 250 million microneedle patches for vaccines or medicine administration each year.
This is a unique benefit of Innoture’s patented technology.
HOW MANY MICRONEEDLES ARE USED PER TREATMENT?
The number of microneedles used to administer a medicine or vaccine can range. Traditionally, microneedle products are small and with a fixed size therefore low dose ability. Innoture can easily adapt the size and shape of the patch to accommodate over 50,000 microneedles, enabling a high dose and ergonomic design that can administer a wide range of treatments.
WHAT CAN MICRONEEDLES BE USED FOR?
Microneedles can be designed to deliver both systemic and localised treatments to target areas. They can be used for delivery of vaccines, medicines, aesthetics & cosmetics. By enabling fluid sensing, they also have the potential to be used for diagnostic testing and healthcare monitoring. Innoture’s aesthetic product range – Radara – is registered across the EU and available.