Researchers at MIT have developed a new approach to deliver drug under the skin. Using two frequencies of ultrasound waves, they have devised a pain free and effective approach for getting medicines delivered to the body under the skin. Their research can be found in the Journal of Controlled Release.
There’s probably a whole crowd of people already applauding this research because of their fear of needles. The great news is that this novel approach is essentially pain free. However, delivering medicine through the skin isn’t anything new. You may already be aware of transdermal patches being used for things like birth control and nicotine addiction. Other medicines like testosterone treatments can be applied to the skin as well. This new approach using ultrasound waves however, promises to be more effective. Carl Schoellhammer, Phd Candidate in Chemical Engineering, describes the process in the short video below.
In very simple terms, a device using a high frequency and a low frequency ultrasound waves is used to remove the top layer of skin which makes it more conducive to accepting medicines. Though it sounds painful it really isn’t. This approach may make it possible to get better doses of medicine in the body. For instance, medicines that are in capsule form have to go through the digestive tract, so it is possible some of it gets destroyed in the process. Another consideration is that those who depend on shots, like insulin for diabetics, may be able to use this technology with a patch instead.
For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/ultrasound-waves-and-drug-delivery-0914.html.