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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Mark R. Prausnitz, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA30332. Email: prausnitz@gatech.edu.

We thank Donna Bondy (Georgia Tech) for administrative support, Dr. Brianna Skinner (Comparative Medicine Branch, CDC) for veterinary support, Natasha Khudyakov and Amanda Poe (Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC) for laboratory analyses of HBV markers, and Stefany Holguin (Georgia Tech) for helpful discussion suggestions.

We also thank the Serum Institute of India for their generous donation of HBsAg vaccine bulk.

Disclosures: Mark Prausnitz is an inventor of patents that have been or may be licensed to companies developing microneedle‐based products, is a paid advisor to companies developing microneedle‐based products and is a founder/shareholder of companies developing microneedle‐based products, including Micron Biomedical.

These potential conflicts of interest have been disclosed and are being managed by Georgia Tech and/or Emory University.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Research Funding:

NIH/NIGMS‐sponsored cell and Tissue Engineering (CTEng) Biotechnology Training Program (T32‐Gm008433); internal CDC funding; National Science Foundation, DGE‐1650044


  • biomechanics
  • birth dose
  • hepatitis B surface antigen vaccine
  • hepatitis B virus
  • microneedle patch
  • mouse
  • rhesus macaque
  • vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccination using a dissolvable microneedle patch is immunogenic in mice and rhesus macaques.


Journal Title:

Bioengineering and Translational Medicine


Volume 3, Number 3


, Pages 186-196

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection remains a major global public health problem, accounting for about 887,000 deaths in 2015. Perinatal and early childhood infections are strongly associated with developing chronic hepatitis B. Adding a birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB BD) to routine childhood vaccination can prevent over 85% of these infections. However, HepB BD coverage remains low in many global regions, with shortages of birth attendants trained to vaccinate and limited HepB BD supply at birth. To address the challenges, we developed coated metal microneedle patches (cMNPs) and dissolvable microneedle patches (dMNPs) that deliver adjuvant-free hepatitis B vaccine to the skin in a simple-to-administer manner. The dMNP contains micron-scale, solid needles encapsulating vaccine antigen and dissolve in the skin, generating no sharps waste. We delivered HepB BD via cMNP to BALB/c mice and via dMNP to both mice and rhesus macaques. Both cMNP and dMNP were immunogenic, generating hepatitis B surface antibody levels similar to human seroprotection. Biomechanical analysis showed that at high forces the microneedles failed mechanically by yielding but microneedles partially blunted by axial compression were still able to penetrate skin. Overall, this study indicates that with further development, dMNPs could offer a method of vaccination to increase HepB BD access and reduce needle waste in developing countries.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Authors. Bioengineering & Translational Medicine is published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The American Institute of Chemical Engineers

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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