Loughborough University
Zhang et al_06Nov2013_review_paper_UnMarked_Resubmitted.pdf (1.14 MB)

Potential of microneedle-assisted micro-particle delivery by gene guns: a review

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-03-26, 12:18 authored by Dongwei Zhang, Diganta DasDiganta Das, Chris RiellyChris Rielly
Abstact Context: Gene guns have been used to deliver deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) loaded micro-particle and breach the muscle tissue to target cells of interest to achieve gene transfection. Objective: This article aims to discuss the potential of microneedle (MN) assisted micro-particle delivery from gene guns, with a view to reducing tissue damage. Methods: Using a range of sources, the main gene guns for micro-particle delivery are reviewed along with the primary features of their technology, e.g. their design configurations, the material selection of the micro-particle, the driving gas type and pressure. Depending on the gene gun system, the achieved penetration depths in the skin are discussed as a function of the gas pressure, the type of the gene gun system and particle size, velocity and density. The concept of MN-assisted micro-particles delivery which consists of three stages (namely, acceleration, separation and decoration stage) is discussed. In this method, solid MNs are inserted into the skin to penetrate the epidermis/dermis layer and create holes for particle injection. Several designs of MN array are discussed and the insertion mechanism is explored, as it determines the feasibility of the MN-based system for particle transfer. Results: This review suggests that one of the problems of gene guns is that they need high operating pressures, which may result in direct or indirect tissue/cells damage. MNs seem to be a promising method which if combined with the gene guns may reduce the operating pressures for these devices and reduce tissue/cell damages. Conclusions: There is sufficient potential for MN-assisted particle develivery systems.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering


ZHANG, D., DAS, D.B. and RIELLY, C.D., 2014. Potential of microneedle-assisted micro-particle delivery by gene guns: a review. Drug Delivery, 21(8), pp. 571-587.


© Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date



This article was published in the journal Drug Delivery [© Informa Healthcare USA, Inc]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/10717544.2013.864345






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