Getting (drugs) under your skin

Getting (drugs) under your skin


The efficient and reproducible delivery of drugs to and through the skin has been a goal of researchers for a long time. The skin as an area for delivery is attractive because of its ease of access and prevalence. Currently, most drugs are given using a hypodermic needle, because they cannot pass through the outermost layer of the skin, which acts as a barrier. That’s where our technology comes in: we’ve developed a device that can painlessly and safely remove the top layer of the skin. I know that sounds a little scary, but it’s not. After pre-treatment with our device, a patient can place a patch over the pre-treated area with the necessary drug, and receive the required dose of that drug. Better yet, this treatment is totally reversible, and the skin regrows its top layer only a few hours later. Our device works using ultrasound. As you can see here, ultrasound causes small bubbles to form in the solution; under the influence of the ultrasonic waves, these bubbles grow in size and eventually become unstable. At this point, they implode and the surrounding fluid rushes into that space, creating a jet of fluid which removes the top layer of the skin. Because these jets do not penetrate deep within the skin, however, there’s no pain associated with this treatment.

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