Hollow microneedles open the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions. A research team at North Carolina State University has created small microneedles to be used in the treatment of medical conditions by inserting nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into the skin. This new procedure could advance a doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including skin cancer. Microneedles are very small needles, where in one dimension, such as length or width, the size is less than one millimeter (0.04-inches). They were able to fabricate hollow, plastic microneedles using a laser-based rapid-prototyping approach and found that they could deliver a solution containing quantum dots using these microneedles
Tests have been done on pigs. A paper describing the study, “Multiphoton microscopy of transdermal quantum dot delivery using two photon polymerization-fabricated polymer microneedles,” will be published in the September issue of Faraday Discussions.