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New elastic patch ‘can deliver medication when stretched’

14th August 2015

Scientists have developed a new drug delivery technology that consists of an elastic patch, studded with biocompatible microcapsules, that can be applied to the skin.

These microcapsules include nanoparticles filled with drugs that will be released into the system when the patch is stretched. For example, if applied to the elbow, the patch would release the drug when the elbow bends.

Microneedles can also be incorporated into the system, allowing the drugs to be diffused into the bloodstream through tiny capillaries underneath the skin in a minimally invasive and largely painless way.

It is thought that this method could be used to apply anti-cancer medications to melanomas, administer growth factors and antibiotics for wound healing, provide treatment for burn patients or offer pain relief solutions.

Yong Zhu, co-senior author of the paper and an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University, said: "The materials are relatively inexpensive, and the manufacturing process is fairly straightforward, so we're optimistic that this could be scaled up in a cost-effective way."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801797724-ADNFCR

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