Wearable Patch Developed for Drug Treatment

Wearable Patch for Medication
Wearable Patch for Drug Therapy - Title: MIT researchers have developed a wearable patch that creates tiny channels through which drugs can pass by applying painless ultrasonic waves to the skin. Credits: Image: Courtesy of the researchers

The patch can be used to treat a number of skin conditions by launching drug molecules into the skin with the help of ultrasonic waves. The skin is a desirable channel for drug delivery, as it allows drugs to be delivered directly to the area of ​​need. This can be advantageous for wound healing, pain management, or other medical and aesthetic uses. However, drug delivery through the skin is difficult because most small molecules cannot pass through the thick outer layer of the skin.

MIT researchers have created a wearable patch that creates tiny channels through which drugs can pass by applying harmless ultrasonic waves to the skin. This was done in an effort to make the distribution of drugs through the skin easier.

According to the researchers, this strategy could be used in the delivery of hormones, muscle relaxants and other pharmaceuticals, as well as drugs for various skin conditions.

Canan Dağdeviren, associate professor at the MIT Media Lab and senior author of the study, argues that the simplicity and high reproducibility of the system offers a revolutionary alternative to patients and consumers suffering from skin disorders and premature skin aging. “This method of drug administration is more local, convenient and controllable, and may present less systemic toxicity.”

Featured in Advanced Materials as part of the journal's "Rising Stars" series, which highlights the remarkable work of researchers in the early stages of their independent careers, the publication is led by MIT researchers Chia-Chen Yu and Aastha Shah. Colin Marcus, MIT research assistants, and Md. Osman Goni Nayeem other writers. Also featured in the article are Nikta Amiri, Amit Kumar Bhayadia, and Amin Karami of the University of Buffalo.

Effect of Sound Waves

This study was initiated by researchers to investigate different drug delivery methods. Most drugs are given orally or intravenously, but for some uses, the skin can allow for much more precise drug delivery.

“The main advantage of using skin is that the entire gastrointestinal tract is avoided. According to Shah, a significantly larger dose should be given to compensate for the loss in the gastrointestinal tract when oral delivery is used. “This form of drug delivery is much more focused and targeted.”

Exposure to ultrasound has been shown to increase the skin's sensitivity to small molecule drugs, but most current methods for performing such drug applications require heavy machinery. The MIT team aimed to develop a lightweight, wearable patch that could handle this type of transdermal drug delivery; this can make it more practical to use for various purposes.

Their invention consists of a patch with multiple piezoelectric transducers that can convert electrical currents into mechanical energy. Inside each disc is a polymeric chamber containing drug molecules dispersed in a liquid solution. Piezoelectric components produce pressure waves in the liquid when an electric current is passed through them, causing bubbles to burst on the skin. The stratum corneum, the resistant outer layer of the skin, can be punctured by the microfluid jets of these bubbles.

This opens up the possibility of improving drug delivery using vibrations. The generation of various waveform patterns depends on a number of parameters. This new set of tools can improve the mechanical and biological aspects of drug administration.”

The patch is made of PDMS, a silicone-based polymer that can adhere to the skin without tape. Niacinamide, a B vitamin found in many sunscreens and moisturizers, was given by the researchers to test the device in this study.

According to studies on pigskin, the amount of niacinamide that could penetrate the skin when applied using ultrasound tape was 26 times greater than the amount that could do so without the aid of ultrasound.

The results of their innovative device were also compared with microneedling, a method occasionally used for transdermal drug delivery, which involves making tiny holes in the skin. The scientists discovered that the patch they applied could deliver as much niacinamide in 30 minutes as microneedles can deliver in six hours.

Drugs can penetrate the skin by a few millimeters using the device as is, making this method potentially useful for drugs that work locally on the skin. These include topical medications used to treat burns or niacinamide or vitamin C used to treat age spots or other dark areas of the skin.

This method can also be used for drugs that need to enter the bloodstream, such as caffeine, fentanyl or lidocaine, and further adjustments can be made to maximize the depth of penetration. According to Dağdeviren, the administration of hormones such as progesterone may also be possible with this type of patch. In addition, researchers are currently exploring the potential to place similar implants in the body to provide drugs for use in the treatment of cancer or other diseases.

The wearable patch is being further optimized by researchers in hopes of testing it on volunteers soon. The researchers also plan to study larger therapeutic molecules in the laboratory tests they performed in this study.

“We will then determine which candidates, such as hormones or insulin, can be delivered using this technology, providing a painless alternative to those who currently have to self-inject on a daily basis,” Shah says. “After characterizing drug penetration profiles for much larger drugs.”

Source: https://news.mit.edu/








Günceleme: 25/04/2023 14:19

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