The healthcare system relies widely on biochemical information obtained from blood sample extracted via hypodermic needles, despite the invasiveness and pain associated with this procedure. Therefore, an alternative micro-scale needle for minimally invasive blood sampling is highly desirable. Traditional fabrication techniques to create microneedles do not generate needles with the combined features of a sharp tip, long length, and hollow structure concurrently. Here, we report the fabrication of a microneedle long enough to reach blood vessels and sharp enough to minimize nerve contact for minimally invasive blood extraction. The microneedle structure was precisely controlled using a drawing lithography technique, and a sharp tip angle was introduced using a laser-cutting system. We investigated the characteristics of a microneedle with a length of 1,800 μm length, an inner diameter of 60 μm, a tip diameter of 120 μm, and a 15 bevel angle through in-vitro liquid extraction and mechanical strength analysis. We demonstrated that the proposed structure results in blood extraction at a reasonable rate, and that a microneedle with this geometry can reliably penetrate skin without breaking. We integrated this microneedle into a blood extraction device to extract a 20 μl volume of mouse blood in-vivo. Our optimized, hollow microneedle can potentially be incorporated with other cutting-edge technologies such as microactuators, biosensors, and microfluidic chips to create blood analysis systems for point-of-care diagnostics.
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Acknowledgments This work was supported in equal part by the Public Welfare & Safety Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2010-0020772), and by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare, Republic of Korea (A102003).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology