Computational simulation of microneedle penetration in the skin for clinical usage in drug delivery and rejuvenation

Document Type : Research Article


Division of Biomedical Engineering, Departement of Life Science Engineering, Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Microneedles are a type of micron-sized needles that have been considered in recent years in various fields including drug release and rejuvenation. Simulation of penetration process of the microneedle into the skin is useful for examining the strength of the microneedle and its effect on the skin during penetration. In this study, penetration of the microneedles into the skin was simulated using finite element method. The skin is assumed to be in two layers and the Ogden model is applied to each of them. The path of microneedle penetration into the skin is predicted by cohesive elements. The results show that at a constant velocity of 0.36 mm/s in order for penetrating the epidermis only 0.5 s and penetrating the dermis only 2.5 s is needed. By decreasing the tip diameter of the microneedle, the reaction force applied to the microneedle decreased while the maximum stress in the skin also increased. As a result, it is recommended to use a conical model to design the microneedle. When the microneedle speed increases, the reaction force on the microneedle increases exponentially but these changes are more noticeable at high speeds. This simulation can be useful for medical biopsy sampling, drug release systems as well as stress assessment in rejuvenation.


Main Subjects

  1. -C. Kim, J.-H. Park, and M. R. Prausnitz, “Microneedles for drug and vaccine delivery,” Advanced drug delivery reviews, vol. 64, no. 14, pp. 1547-1568, 2012.
  2. C. Son, J. H. Rho, K. Y. Chang, D. H. Suh, J. H. Rhue, and K. Y. Song, “Treatment of Various Types of Scar with Multihole Meth od-combination of Fraxel and Microneedle,”프로그램북 (구 초록집), vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 143-143, 2006.
  3. Y.Hao, W. Li, X. Zhou, F. Yang, and Z. Qian, “Microneedles-based transdermal drug delivery systems: a review,” Journal of biomedical nanotechnology, vol. 13, no. 12, pp. 1581-1597, 2017.
  4. Z. Loizidou, N. T. Inoue, J. Ashton-Barnett, D. A. Barrow, and C. J. Allender, “Evaluation of geometrical effects of microneedles on skin penetration by CT scan and finite element analysis,” European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, vol. 107, pp. 1-6, 2016.
  5. A. Kendall, Y.-F. Chong, and A. Cock, “The mechanical properties of the skin epidermis in relation to targeted gene and drug delivery,” Biomaterials, vol. 28, no. 33, pp. 4968-4977, 2007.
  6. C. Birchall, “Microneedle array technology: the time is right but is the science ready?,” Expert review of medical devices, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-4, 2006.
  7. C. Kim, J. H. Park, and M. R. Prausnitz, “Microneedles for drug and vaccine delivery,” (in eng), Adv Drug Deliv Rev, vol. 64, no. 14, pp. 1547-68, Nov 2012.
  8. P. Davis, B. J. Landis, Z. H. Adams, M. G. Allen, and M. R. Prausnitz, “Insertion of microneedles into skin: measurement and prediction of insertion force and needle fracture force,” Journal of biomechanics, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 1155-1163, 2004.
  9. Z. Loizidou et al., “Structural characterisation and transdermal delivery studies on sugar microneedles: Experimental and finite element modelling analyses,” European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, vol. 89, pp. 224-231, 2015.
  10. Kong and C. Wu, “Measurement and prediction of insertion force for the mosquito fascicle penetrating into human skin,” Journal of Bionic Engineering, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 143-152, 2009.
  11. Kong, P. Zhou, and C. Wu, “Numerical simulation of microneedles’ insertion into skin,” Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering, vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 827-835, 2011.
  12. Chen, N. Li, and J. Chen, “Development and experimental verification of a nonlinear hyperelastic model for microneedle-skin interactions,” in 2012 IEEE 6th International Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering (NANOMED), 2012, pp. 6165: IEEE.
  13. Ling et al., “Effect of honeybee stinger and its microstructured barbs on insertion and pull force,” Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, vol. 68, pp. 173-179, 2017.
  14. Nan, L. Xie, and W. Zhao, “On the application of 3D finite element modeling for small-diameter hole drilling of AISI 1045 steel,” The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 84, no. 9-12, pp. 1927-1939, 2016.
  15. L. Crichton et al., “Characterising the material properties at the interface between skin and a skin vaccination microprojection device,” Acta biomaterialia, vol. 36, pp. 186-194, 2016.
  16. C. Meliga, J. W. Coffey, M. L. Crichton, C. Flaim, M. Veidt, and M. A. Kendall, “The hyperelastic and failure behaviors of skin in relation to the dynamic application of microscopic penetrators in a murine model,” Acta biomaterialia, vol. 48, pp. 341-356, 2017.
  17. Oldfield, D. Dini, G. Giordano, and F. Rodriguez y Baena, “Detailed finite element modelling of deep needle insertions into a soft tissue phantom using a cohesive approach,” Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 530-543, 2013.
  18. -L. Lin and G.-J. Lan, “A computational approach to investigate optimal cutting speed configurations in rotational needle biopsy cutting soft tissue,” Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 84-93, 2019.
  19. B. Groves, S. Coulman, J. C. Birchall, and S. L. Evans, “Quantifying the mechanical properties of human skin to optimise future microneedle device design,” Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 73-82, 2012.
  20. W. Ogden, “Large deformation isotropic elasticity–on the correlation of theory and experiment for incompressible rubberlike solids,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. A. Mathematical and Physical Sciences, vol. 326, no. 1567, pp. 565-584, 1972.
  21. L. Benzeggagh and M. Kenane, “Measurement of mixed-mode delamination fracture toughness of unidirectional glass/epoxy composites with mixed-mode bending apparatus,” Composites science and technology, to skin induces circulating protein extravasation for vol. 56, no. 4, pp. 439-449, 1996.

[22] J. W. Coffey, S. C. Meliga, S. R. Corrie, and M. A.  Kendall, “Dynamic application of microprojection arrays  to skin induces circulating protein extravasation for enhanced biomarker capture and detection,” Biomaterials, vol. 84, pp. 130-143, 2016.