Colleltion of analytes from microneedle patches
Clinical medicine and public health would benefit from simplified acquisition of biological samples from patients that can be easily obtained at point of care, in the field, and by patients themselves. Microneedle patches are designed to serve this need by collecting dermal interstitial fluid containing biomarkers without the dangers, pain, or expertise needed to collect blood. This study presents novel methods to collect biomarker analytes from microneedle patches for analysis by integration into conventional analytical laboratory microtubes and microplates. Microneedle patches were made out of cross-linked hydrogel composed of poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid) and poly(ethylene glycol) prepared by micromolding. Microneedle patches were shown to swell with water up to 50-fold in volume, depending on degree of polymer cross-linking, and to collect interstitial fluid from the skin of rats. To collect analytes from microneedle patches, the patches were mounted within the cap of microcentrifuge tubes or formed the top of V-bottom multiwell microplates, and fluid was collected in the bottom of the tubes under gentle centrifugation. In another method, microneedle patches were attached to form the bottom of multiwell microplates, thereby enabling in situ analysis. The simplicity of biological sample acquisition using microneedle patches coupled with the simplicity of analyte collection from microneedles patches integrated into conventional analytical equipment could broaden the reach of future screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of biomarkers in healthcare and environmental/workplace settings.