An elastic-based drug delivery system that releases its medication when stretched could offer a new way to treat pain or injuries in relation to motion.
Developed by teams at two North Carolina Universities, the stretchable patches are made up of an elastomer embedded with capsules of drug-filled nanoparticles. When the capsules come under pressure (such as being squeezed when the elastomer stretches), they will compress and release their medication. That medication is then injected into the patient’s skin via a network of microneedles located beneath each capsule.
The team envisions the patches being used to release painkillers on demands, such as “whenever a patient with arthritic knees goes for a walk, or to release antibacterial drugs gradually as people move around over the course of a day.”
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