Researchers at MIT hope to address the difficulties of transdermal drug delivery through a new wearable patch.
The MIT team sees the skin as an appealing route for drug delivery. It enables the drugs to travel directly to the necessary site, which offers benefits in wound care, pain relief and more. However, the tough outer layer of the skin often prevents most small molecules from passing through.
In order to address this, the researchers developed this wearable patch that applies painless ultrasonic waves to the skin. The patch creates tiny channels that drugs can pass through. Such an approach could enable the delivery of treatments for a variety of skin conditions, according to the team. They also believe they can adapt it to deliver hormones, muscle relaxants and other drugs.
“The ease-of-use and high repeatability offered by this system provides a game-changing alternative to patients and consumers suffering from skin conditions and premature skin aging,” said Canan Dagdeviren, an associate professor in MIT’s Media Lab and the senior author of the study. “Delivering drugs this way could offer less systemic toxicity and is more local, comfortable, and controllable.”