Researchers hope to develop the patch’s functionality to act as an external skin patch, lowering the pain, invasiveness and toxicity associated with long-term drug delivery
Scientists have developed a flexible, transparent patch with nanoneedles that can deliver exact doses of drugs directly into cells and also monitor health markers. Silicon nanoneedles patches are currently placed between skin, muscles or tissues where they deliver exact doses of biomolecules. Commercially available silicon nanoneedles patches are usually constructed on a rigid and opaque silicon wafer. The rigidity can cause discomfort and cannot be left in the body very long.
“These qualities are exactly opposite to the flexible, curved and soft surfaces of biological cells or tissues,” said Chi Hwan Lee, an assistant professor in Purdue University in the US. “To tackle this problem, we developed a method that enables physical transfer of vertically ordered silicon nanoneedles from their original silicon wafer to a bio-patch,” Lee said.
“This nanoneedle patch is not only flexible but also transparent, and therefore can also allow simultaneous real-time observation of the interaction between cells and nanoneedles,” he said. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that the nanoneedles are partly embedded in a thin flexible and transparent bio-patch that can be worn on the skin and can deliver controlled doses of biomolecules. Researchers hope to develop the patch’s functionality to act as an external skin patch, lowering the pain, invasiveness and toxicity associated with long-term drug delivery.