Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.



First Advisor

Maryam Mobed-Miremadi


Microneedle arrays are an emerging technology that offers a novel drug delivery system to treat a variety of skin wounds and diseases. The needles deliver therapeutics to the epidermis layer of the skin and therefore establish advantageous qualities over the standard hypodermic needle as they are non-invasive, efficient in biologic absorption, and can be self-administered. This project investigates a custom 3D-printed hollow microneedle device created by a Santa Clara University Senior Design team in 2018 for microencapsulated cell extrusion to be applied for accelerated wound healing. The goal of our project is to operate in the therapeutic range for flowrate and pressure to minimize patient pain and improve patient compliance. Simulations of laminar flow and particle tracing through the 3D-printed microneedle device pre-puncture were generated using COMSOL Multiphysics software. These results established a robust flow profile for fluid flow and encapsulated cell tracing through the device when operating in optimal conditions. Next various failure modes were analyzed to determine their effects on the flow profile. Tip deformation, nozzle clogging, and suction were modelled using COMSOL, and respective provisions were added to a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) matrix. In future experiments, the generated flow patterns may be used as a machine learning data training set to implement an algorithm that recognizes and predicts failure modes based on flow profiles. Additionally, in situ flow data will be collected to compose a more robust model.