Skin Deep Problems
A flexible, synthetic patch helps eliminate the toxicity and invasiveness associated with long-term drug delivery
Maryam Mahdi |
In most cases, conventional drug delivery works very well, but what about when first-pass metabolism interferes with the drug to render it useless? Or when patients simply refuse to swallow tablets? Injectables are also not immune to problems, given that a number of patients may be needle-phobic.
For many years, there has been intense discussion in the industry about the benefits of transdermal delivery. One common approach to dermal drug delivery is the use of silicon nanoneedle patches, but while these do show potential, they can only be used on a short-term basis. Commercially available patches are often rigid and may cause damage to the tissues around the site of injection. Chi Hwan Lee, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, along with his colleagues, has developed a flexible, transparent patch capable of delivering drugs to a target site without causing discomfort to the patient. The nanoneedles on the patch reduce the invasiveness and toxicity associated with long-term drug delivery (1).
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