Multilayered transdermal devices as local gene delivery systems


González Sáenz, Patricia E.

The COVID-19 pandemic has supposed a health emergency rapidly translated into the expansion in the biomedical field of vaccination. Commonly the traditional way of administration of vaccines is parenteral using hypodermal injections due to its very rapid and efficient action with nearly a hundred percent of viability. However, it is very invasive and typically requires the help of trained medical practitioners.
To overcome those issues, transdermal devices are incredibly user-friendly and effectively painless to be applied as skin-targeting platforms with a local delivery. In addition, they also provide safety, minimally invasive and they are easily storable. Taking into account those advantages, this project proposes a design of a transdermal microneedles’ platform as a local delivery system of genetic material. Concretely, the design of this type of transdermal devices involves the biofunctionalization of their surfaces to act as vaccination systems. Therefore, the development of thin films coating the surface of these microneedles are the ones of choice in this project to control the local release of genetic material. Firstly, commercial metal microneedles were compared to polymeric devices synthesized by 3D printing at the laboratory. The multilayered system developed here consists of a first layer of plasma polymerized pentafluorophenyl methacrylate (pp-PFM) followed by a second layer of glucosamine to interact covalently with pp-PFM by an amide bonding. Afterwards, a Poly Electrolyte Multilayered (PEM) System composed by different types of poly β-amino ester (PBAE) was deposited over with alternate dipping method of these polymers and genetic material layers. Concretely, two PEM systems were developed taking advantage of electrostatic interactions: the first one is characterized by layers of the polymer, PBAE with a fluorophenylbohronic acid (FPBA) and a plasmid DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid) which codifies for the Green Fluorescent Protein (pGFP) and the second one shares the first layer of PBAE with FPBA with the following layers of PBAE terminally modified by three arginines (C6-CR3) together with the pGFP. Furthermore, the release of pGFP from these PEM systems was confirmed and their ability to transfect cells in vitro checked. Those studies represent the first step to design novel transdermal platforms as local delivery systems for vaccination purposes.




Fornaguera i Puigvert, Cristina
Borrós Gómez, Salvador


IQS SE - Master’s Degree in Bioengineering