An electrically active microneedle array for electroporation

Seong O. Choi, Yeu Chun Kim, Jung Hwan Park, Joshua Hutcheson, Harvinder S. Gill, Yong Kyu Yoon, Mark R. Prausnitz, Mark G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


We have designed and fabricated a microneedle array with electrical functionality with the final goal of electroporating skin's epidermal cells to increase their transfection by DNA vaccines. The microneedle array was made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) by micromolding technology from a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) mold, followed by metal deposition, patterning using laser ablation, and electrodeposition. This microneedle array possessed sufficient mechanical strength to penetrate human skin in vivo and was also able to electroporate both red blood cells and human prostate cancer cells as an in vitro model to demonstrate cell membrane permeabilization. A computational model to predict the effective volume for electroporation with respect to applied voltages was constructed from finite element simulation. This study demonstrates the mechanical and electrical functionalities of the first MEMS-fabricated microneedle array for electroporation, designed for DNA vaccine delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • DU145 cell
  • Electroporation
  • Laser ablation
  • Micromolding
  • Microneedle


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