Unlocking On-Demand Medication Release with Smartphone-Controlled Skin Patches

By: | January 27th, 2024

Nobody’s a fan of the needle’s frequent call, Or popping pills like confetti, it’s no thrill at all.

Time to explore less stingy, less swallow-y solutions!

In a significant breakthrough in drug delivery systems, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a new drug delivery system.

Called the Spatiotemporal On-Demand Patch (SOP), the drug delivery system can be remotely controlled with a smartphone or computer to release drugs from individual microneedles. This sophisticated patch can transform the lives of chronically ill patients by administering different drugs throughout the day following a predetermined schedule.

The Design and Functioning of the On-demand Patch.

The wearable microneedle patch’s thin and soft platform that resembles a Band-Aid can painlessly administer different drugs through the skin when triggered by a smartphone.

The SOP has an electrical circuit on its top surface while its needles can be individually loaded with different medications. All the needles are coated with gold to keep the needles from dissolving and protect the drugs when the patch is applied to the skin.

The SOP heats one or more of the microneedles when activated by a wireless signal from a smartphone or computer. The gold coating disintegrates and exposes the drug-loaded microneedles to the skin, which triggers the release of the drugs within 30 seconds.

Like other microneedle patches, the drug first enters the interstitial fluid between the skin cells and is then carried into the bloodstream.

The SOP has been successfully used to administer multiple doses in lab tests.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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