Diagnostic, Therapeutic, and Theranostic Multifunctional Microneedles

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Microneedles (MNs) have maintained their popularity in therapeutic and diagnostic medical applications throughout the past decade. MNs are originally designed to gently puncture the stratum corneum layer of the skin and have lately evolved into intelligent devices with functions including bodily fluid extraction, biosensing, and drug administration. MNs offer limited invasiveness, ease of application, and minimal discomfort. Initially manufactured solely from metals, MNs are now available in polymer-based varieties. MNs can be used to create systems that deliver drugs and chemicals uniformly, collect bodily fluids, and are stimulus-sensitive. Although these advancements are favorable in terms of biocompatibility and production costs, they are insufficient for the therapeutic use of MNs. This is the first comprehensive review that discusses individual MN functions toward the evolution and development of smart and multifunctional MNs for a variety of novel and impactful future applications. The study examines fabrication techniques, application purposes, and experimental details of MN constructs that perform multiple functions concurrently, including sensing, drug-molecule release, sampling, and remote communication capabilities. It is highly likely that in the near future, MN-based smart devices will be a useful and important component of standard medical practice for different applications.

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ePub ahead of print

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