Diabetes mellitus is a severe condition in which the pancreas produces inadequate insulin or the insulin generated is ineffective for utilisation by the body; as a result, insulin therapy is required for control blood sugar levels in patients having type 1 diabetes and is widely recommended in advanced type 2 diabetes patients with uncontrolled diabetes despite dual oral therapy, while subcutaneous insulin administration using hypodermic injection or pump-mediated infusion is the traditional route of insulin delivery and causes discomfort, needle phobia, reduced adherence, and risk of infection. Therefore, transdermal insulin delivery has been extensively explored as an appealing alternative to subcutaneous approaches for diabetes management which not only is non-invasive and easy, but also avoids first-pass metabolism and prevents gastrointestinal degradation. Microneedles have been commonly investigated in human subjects for transdermal insulin administration because they are minimally invasive and painless. The different types of microneedles developed for the transdermal delivery of anti-diabetic drugs are discussed in this review, including solid, dissolving, hydrogel, coated, and hollow microneedles. Numerous microneedle products have entered the market in recent years. But, before the microneedles can be effectively launched into the market, a significant amount of investigation is required to address the numerous challenges. In conclusion, the use of microneedles in the transdermal system is an area worth investigating because of its significant benefits over the oral route in the delivery of anti-diabetic medications and biosensing of blood sugar levels to assure improved clinical outcomes in diabetes management.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.