Manuka Honey Microneedle: Methods and Uses

  • New drug delivery device – where honey can be the “drug” or the carrier or adjuvant for drug delivery
  • MHMs can be used to stimulate wound healing as well as for the prevention and/or treatment of infections. The use of the microneedles can get the drug beneath an intact dermal layer or into deeper layers of infected tissue.
  •  MHMs can also serve as a new microneedle base material to administer other drugs, such as vaccines


Galit Frydman / David Olaleye / Illina Yang / Damodaran Annamalai

Departments: Division of Comparative Medicine
Technology Areas: Biotechnology: Biomedical Devices & Systems / Drug Delivery: Microparticles & Nanoparticles
Impact Areas: Healthy Living

  • manuka honey microneedle
    United States of America | Published application
  • manuka honey microneedle: methods and uses
    Patent Cooperation Treaty | Published application


  • Microneedle synthesis method and material using a material that has medicinal properties, is already FDA-approved for use in wound care, and may serve as a drug delivery substrate
  • The methods described in this patent enable the synthesis of up to 100% pure honey microneedles, while still maintaining their natural chemical and enzymatic properties; unless other sugar-based microneedles that utilize high heat. This method of microneedle formation can also be used to form the microneedles with the drug or protein of interest mixed in as a solution, as the process for microneedle synthesis is gentle and is less likely to damage or degrade proteins and other chemicals. This is especially valuable when delivering delicate cargo, such as RNA- or DNA-based therapeutics
  • Using honey as the microneedle base, which is well known to have antibacterial and wound-healing properties, can be used on its’ own for wound management or can be used as a drug delivery tool, where the site of drug delivery is also promoted to heal and has low chance of pathogen infection
  • Additionally, the honey itself may serve as a natural adjuvant, being an immunostimulant combined with the physical stimulation of microneedling. Promoting uptake of the drug delivery package.
  • Another potential use for this is in dermatology, for the promotion of collagen formation through microneedling while using honey to prevent infection and promote short-acting local inflammation, promoting blood flow and tissue regeneration – such as for scar reduction or reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Problem Addressed

  • Synthesis of sugar-based microneedles typically require high-temperature conditions which may restrict the ability to drug load specific target within the microneedle itself
  • Microneedles penetrate the skin and result in a defect in the epithelial barrier, increasing the potential risk of acquiring an infection at the site of microneedle penetration
  • Manuka Honey is an FDA-approved product for the treatment of complex wounds and has natural antibiotic and antifungal properties; however, the only current methods to apply the honey to wounds is through a gel/cream or on a bandage, which only reaches the superficial portion of the wound and may not reach deeper infections, such as cellulitis.


  • Methods for the synthesis of MHMs which retains the enzymatic and chemical characteristics of the honey
  • The method of MHM synthesis is gentle enough to enable the loading of other drugs into the microneedle base itself, without an additional coating step
  • The MHMs combine two FDA-approved techniques: microneedling and Medical Grade Manuka Honey
  • MHMs can be a combined device and therapeutic and may be a way to administer sensitive drug loads, vaccines, or treat complicated infections – such as those with antibiotic resistant bacteria or fungal infections.


Galit H. Frydman, et al. Manuka honey microneedles for enhanced wound healing and the prevention and/or treatment of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus. Nature. 2020 August 6. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-70186-9

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