Posted Sept. 30, 2015
Elastic patches embedded with small capsules could deliver pharmaceuticals when stretched, according to a scientific article.
By adding arrays of tiny needles, researchers showed the patches also could be used for transcutaneous delivery.
When the patches are stretched, the capsules on the skinside surface deform and release the drugs within, according to the article, “Stretch-triggered drug delivery from wearable elastomers containing therapeutic depots,” which was published online in ACS Nano.
The article is based on work by researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University who embedded patches with the cancer treatment drug doxorubicin hydrochloride and the antimicrobial ciprofloxacin and showed that the patches dispersed the drugs when stretched in solution, the article states. And they used patches with arrays of “microneedles” to deliver insulin and regulate blood glucose concentrations in mice with chemically induced type 1 diabetes.
The patches also could be used to deliver anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving agents, and those containing needle arrays could deliver drugs, hormones, or vaccines, according to the article. An announcement from NCSU indicates patches placed on the knees of an arthritic person could release painkillers as that person walked.
The article authors note that uses include delivery of pharmaceuticals through daily motions and release of analgesic or emergency drugs through intentional movements. And they suggest the patches could be combined with other technologies that respond to organ motion or integrated with other wearable technologies.