The researchers will present their findings today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting and Exposition.
"Our patch has a unique chemical coating and mode of action that allows it to be applied and removed from the skin in just a minute while still delivering a therapeutic dose of drugs," says Yanpu He, a graduate student who helped develop the device. "Our patches elicit a robust antibody response in living mice and show promise in eliciting a strong immune response in human skin."
Ointments - Medications - Skin - Distance - Syringes
Topical ointments can impart medications to the skin, but they can only penetrate a small distance through it. While syringes are an effective drug delivery mode, they can be painful. Syringes can also be inconvenient for patients, leading to noncompliance.
Microneedle patches, prepared with a layer-by-layer (LbL) coating method, are one easy, pain-free way to administer treatment. With the LbL process, researchers coat a surface with molecules of alternating positive and negative charge. For a robust drug film to form on the surface of the patch, every adjacent layer must be strongly attracted to each other and also to the microneedle. "But this attraction makes the entire film very 'sticky,'" He notes. "Past methods, which have retained this 'sticky' nature, can take up to 90 minutes for a sufficient amount of drug to leave the patch and enter the skin."
Paula - T - Hammond - PhD - Graduate
Paula T. Hammond, Ph.D., along with her graduate students He, Celestine Hong and other colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), devised a way around this problem. They designed a new pH-responsive polymer with two parts. "The first part contains amine groups that are positively charged at the pH at which we make the microneedles, but that become neutral at the pH of skin," He says. "The second part contains carboxylic acid groups with no charge when...
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