Drug delivery has reached a whole new level with the bio patch as this can now deliver drugs directly into the cells. The findings of this study are published in the Science Advances Journal.
"This means that eight or nine silicon nanoneedles can be injected into a single cell without significantly damaging a cell. So we can use these nanoneedles to deliver biomolecules into cells or even tissues with minimal invasiveness
," said Chi Hwan Lee, an assistant professor in Purdue University's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and School of Mechanical Engineering.
‘Since this bio patch has a flexible and translucent base for silicon nanoneedle patches it won’t damage the cells and deliver exact doses of biomolecules (drugs) directly into the cells
A surgeon performs surgery on the back of a hand of a patient who has melanoma. Purdue researchers are developing a new flexible and translucent base for silicon patches to deliver exact doses of biomolecules directly into cells and expand observational opportunities. The researchers say skin cancer could be one of the applications for the patches
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," Lee said.
Lee said the researchers had resolved that problem.
"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." A study on the new procedure was published today (Nov. 9) in Science Advances. The collaborators from South Korea's Hanyang University and Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and School of Mechanical Engineering received joint support from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT to complete this study. 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.
Lee said the 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
In this technology's next iterations, Lee said the researchers plan to test the operational validity of the patch's capabilities monitoring cellular electrical activity or treating cancerous tissue.