Efficient administration of active ingredients with microarray patches

Zosano Pharma is one of the leading companies in the field of intradermal drug delivery using MAPs (microarray patches). Zosano has developed a special intracutaneous microneedle system for the acute treatment of migraine pain. It consists of a patch coated with almost 2,000 microscopic titanium needles, two plastic rings and a reusable applicator. For application, the patient snaps the outer ring onto the applicator. Once pressed against the skin, the applicator attaches the patch with a precisely defined force, while the ring remains attached to the applicator. The needles penetrate the uppermost skin layer and, compared to other administration forms, provide faster and more efficient release of the active ingredient.

Coating and packaging of the devices

First, Harro Höfliger developed a rotating roller to coat these microarray patches. This roller produces a thin film of active ingredient and applies tiny amounts of formulation to each individual microneedle. The fully automatic system coats up to twelve products per minute and packages the devices individually into nitrogen-flushed foil cups. Subsequently, the subassembly consisting of patch, inner ring and microneedle is fed in tubular containers. By means of a walking-beam system, these containers are transferred to a robotic system which removes the components and prepares /arranges them for further processing.



  • The subassembly of patch, inner ring and microneedle element are loaded in tubular containers.

  • A robot system distributes the components to the coating stations.

  • The microneedles are coated by a rotation drum that creates a thin liquid formulation film.

  • A high-resolution camera checks for integrity of the needles and uniformity of coating.

Another robotic system distributes the components to four coating stations where the microneedles are repeatedly dipped into the formulation at a controlled depth and speed. A high-resolution camera then checks if all needles are intact and uniformly coated. Each component group is now pressed into the outer ring and the complete unit is transported to a customized SSP2 blister machine for forming, filling and sealing of the aluminum packaging.

After forming, a retainer is sealed into the cups into which the device is inserted with the correct orientation, followed by printing of the lid foil, purging with nitrogen, sealing and punching.




Innovative production solutions for drug delivery by means of microneedle systems

Machines & Technology


Small Scale: The small batch machine for micro-dosing powder into inhalation blisters (intermittent)



Microneedle patches to tackle migraine

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