In this focused progress review, the recent developments and trends of hydrogel‐forming microneedles (HFMs) and potential future directions are presented. Previously, microneedles (solid, hollow, coated, and dissolving microneedles) have primarily been used to enhance the effectiveness of transdermal drug delivery to facilitate a wide range of applications such as vaccinations and antibiotic delivery. However, the recent trend in microneedle development has resulted in microneedles formed from hydrogels which have the ability to offer transdermal drug delivery and, due to the hydrogel swelling nature, passively extract interstitial fluid from the skin, meaning they have the potential to be used for biocompatible minimally invasive monitoring devices. Thus, in this review, these recent trends are highlighted, which consolidate microneedle design considerations, hydrogel formulations, fabrication processes, applications of HFMs and the potential future opportunities for utilizing HFMs for personalized healthcare monitoring and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000307
Number of pages18
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number2
Early online date26 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2021


  • hydrogel-forming microneedles
  • interstitial fluid extraction
  • micro-molding
  • polymers
  • transdermal drug delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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