The immunological effects of intradermal particle-based vaccine delivery using a novel microinjection needle studied in a human skin explant model

Manon Beaujean, Rienke F. Uijen, Jeroen D. Langereis, David Boccara, Denise Dam, Angèle Soria, Gert Veldhuis, Lucille Adam, Olivia Bonduelle, Nicole N. van der Wel, Joen Luirink, Eric Pedruzzi, Jeroen Wissink, Marien I. de Jonge, Behazine Combadière

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


For intradermal (ID) immunisation, novel needle-based delivery systems have been proposed as a better alternative to the Mantoux method. However, the penetration depth of needles in the human skin and its effect on immune cells residing in the different layers of the skin has not been analyzed. A novel and user-friendly silicon microinjection needle (Bella-muTM) has been developed, which allows for a perpendicular injection due to its short needle length (1.4–1.8 mm) and ultrashort bevel. We aimed to characterize the performance of this microinjection needle in the context of the delivery of a particle-based outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccine using an ex vivo human skin explant model. We compared the needles of 1.4 and 1.8 mm with the conventional Mantoux method to investigate the depth of vaccine injection and the capacity of the skin antigen-presenting cell (APC) to phagocytose the OMVs. The 1.4 mm needle deposited the antigen closer to the epidermis than the 1.8 mm needle or the Mantoux method. Consequently, activation of epidermal Langerhans cells was significantly higher as determined by dendrite shortening. We found that five different subsets of dermal APCs are able to phagocytose the OMV vaccine, irrespective of the device or injection method. ID delivery using the 1.4 mm needle of a OMV-based vaccine allowed epidermal and dermal APC targeting, with superior activation of Langerhans cells. This study indicates that the use of a microinjection needle improves the delivery of vaccines in the human skin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2270-2279
Number of pages10
Issue number13
Early online date2 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2023


  • Intradermal (ID)
  • Microinjection needle
  • Outer membrane vesicle (OMV)
  • Proof of concept
  • Skin antigen-presenting cells (APC)

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