Effect of Microneedle Cross-Sectional Shape on Puncture Resistance – Investigation of Polygonal and Star-Shaped Cross Sections –
Seiji Aoyagi*, Kento Okuda**, Tomokazu Takahashi*, and Masato Suzuki*
3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita, Osaka 564-8680, Japan
**Housing Technology, LIXIL Corporation
130 Asaji, Oyabe, Toyama 932-0122, Japan
The shape of the needle tip that is currently used in the medical field is a “lancet point,” which is a diagonally cut cylindrical pipe, further cut on both sides. The shape of the needle shank is typically cylindrical. In this paper, tip and shank shapes that differ from the standard shape are experimentally investigated for the purpose of reducing puncture resistance. Microneedles of various cross-sectional shapes, such as polygonal and star-like, were fabricated using stereo laser lithography. Before the needle penetrates the skin, sharp edges at the needle tip may be effective to generate a stress concentration on the skin, inducing a skin fracture. After the needle penetrates the skin, corners in the cross section of the needle shank may effectively reduce the frictional resistance because the contact area between the skin and needle is limited at the corners. A needle insertion experiment was conducted against an artificial skin made of polydimethylsiloxane. The puncture resistance decreased respectively for the circular needle, polygonal needle, and star-shaped needle. For the star-shaped needles, the maximum resistance decreased as the number of corners (N) decreased. For the polygonal needle, the maximum resistance increased as N increased from 3 to 5; however, there was no observable difference for N from 6 to 8. The experimental results show that a triangular star-shaped microneedle is the most effective in reducing the puncture resistance.
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