Solvent-free polycaprolactone dissolving microneedles generated via the thermal melting method for the sustained release of capsaicin

Jaehong Eum, Youseong Kim, Daniel Junmin Um, Jiwoo Shin, Huisuk Yang, Hyungil Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


(1) Background: Dissolving microneedles (DMNs), a transdermal drug delivery system, have been developed to treat various diseases in a minimally invasive, painless manner. However, the currently available DMNs are based on burst release systems due to their hydrophilic backbone polymer. Although hydrophobic biodegradable polymers have been employed on DMNs for sustained release, dissolution in an organic solvent is required for fabrication of such DMNs. (2) Method: To overcome the aforementioned limitation, novel separable polycaprolactone (PCL) DMNs (SPCL-DMNs) were developed to implant a PCL-encapsulated drug into the skin. PCL is highly hydrophobic, degrades over a long time, and has a low melting point. Under thermal melting, PCL encapsulated capsaicin and could be fabricated into a DMN without the risk of toxicity from an organic solvent. (3) Results: Optimized SPCL-DMNs, containing PCL (height 498.3 ± 5.8 µm) encapsulating 86.66 ± 1.13 µg capsaicin with a 10% (w/v) polyvinyl alcohol and 20% (w/v) polyvinylpyrrolidone mixture as a base polymer, were generated. Assessment of the drug release profile revealed that this system could sustainably release capsaicin for 15 days from PCL being implanted in porcine skin. (4) Conclusion: The implantable SPCL-DMN developed here has the potential for future development of toxicity-free, sustained release DMNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This reasearch was equally supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI16C0625), by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (grant number: 2020M3E5D8108104), and by Brain Korea 21 (BK21) program/Y.K. and J.S. are fellowship awardees of the BK21 program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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