The global diabetic wound population is slated to surge to between 9.1 million and 26.1 million by 2030. But current treatments, including surgical debridement, negative pressure wound therapy, and dressings like gauze and hydrogel, face challenges in effectively delivering medications to the deep wound bed.

To address these shortcomings, microneedles have gained attention in recent years for their high drug delivery capabilities, minimal invasiveness, and convenience. Microneedles penetrate the skin barrier and transport drugs, proteins, and other therapeutic agents directly to the wound bed, improving efficiency and permeability of drug delivery while reducing patient discomfort.

Even so, there’s a lack of summary articles addressing the use of microneedles for diabetic wounds, hindering the development of related dressings, according to experts. In a review published in the Chinese Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers outline the materials, techniques, design, release mechanisms, and effects of microneedles on wound healing stages.

“The structural composition and material selection of microneedles influence their efficacy in treating diabetic wounds,” explains corresponding author of the study, Youbai Chen, MD, PhD, a professor in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing. “Microneedles can promote diabetic wound healing through several mechanisms, such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic and angiogenic activities at different stages of the healing process.”

“In conclusion, microneedles are promising drug delivery systems for the treatment of diabetic wounds,” adds first author Chun Liang, MD. “We hope that our summary will be enlightening and instructive for further research on microneedle dressings.”