Microneedle patch technology shows potential for long-acting contraception

January 14, 2019

ATLANTA, January 14, 2019 – The laboratory of Prof. Mark Prausnitz at Georgia Tech developed dissolving microneedle patches that administer a long-acting contraceptive for more than 30 days using microneedle technology licensed exclusively to Micron Biomedical. This work was published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on January 14, 2019.

In the study conducted in animals, microneedle patches were designed to allow microneedles containing the contraceptive hormone levonorgestrel to break off their base within a few seconds following microneedle patch application to skin and, then, to slowly dissolve and deliver levonorgestrel for over a month with a single microneedle patch application.  Because the microneedles break off quickly, it is not necessary for the microneedle patch backing to remain on the skin while the microneedles dissolve. Also, because the microneedle patches are applied by simply pressing to the skin by thumb, self-administration is envisioned.

The technology, licensed exclusively by Micron Biomedical, shows the potential to offer an attractive alternative to current long-acting contraceptive options, which can be costly and require an injection or the implantation of a device by a healthcare professional.

The global hormonal contraceptive market was valued $19.5B in 2017 and is expected to reach $30.0B by 2026.

The research article can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41551-018-0337-4.