New Flexible Microneedle Patch Promises Faster Medication Delivery

New Flexible Microneedle Patch Promises Faster Medication Delivery

By Shinji Tutoru

VIRGINIA TECH- WAKE FOREST SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCES, NC, USA. Researchers were able to develop a flexible microneedle patch which will allow drugs to be delivered directly and fully through the skin. This method quickens delivery time of the drug inside the body. It means that lesser time, effort and drugs are wasted during the process. At the same time, it can also minimize some side-effects caused by drugs to the patient’s body.

The microneedle patch technology is not something new in the medical industry. In fact, it has been in existence for several years now. These patches contain an arrangement of hundreds of micron-sized needles that pierce the skin and dissolve. That way, the drugs embedded on it is delivered.

But because of the chemical’s rigid structure, it has become a real challenge to make the patches fully pierce into the patient’s skin to deliver the drugs. As a result, the old school microneedle patch method not only is a waste of drug material but also a waste of material and slower delivery time. Another factor that makes this microneedle patch technology less manufacturer-friendly is the need for centrifugation in order for it to be produced in bulk. Centrifugation is needed for typical fabrication procedures such as this one in particular.

The newly developed microneedle patch technology is considered a medical breakthrough because of its flexibility which forms to the skin directly just like how a regular bandage would. It then pierces the skin and dissolves which means little to no waste at all. This flexible microneedle patch is also made of softer, more malleable and water soluble material which makes it even more patient and manufacturer-friendly. At the same time, the material allows more precise control over the shape, size, and composition of the patch to be used for different situations.

The team of researchers were led by assistant professor Lissett Bickford of the biomedical engineering and the mechanical engineering which are both part of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. They also claim that this flexible microneedle patch technology can be mass-produced at a small fraction of time which means it will be sold at a more affordable cost.

Invention Flexible Microneedle Patch
Organization Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering
Researcher Lissett Bickford & Team
Field(s) drug patch, drug delivery, skin, flexible patch, health, microneedle
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