New skin patch 'could aid drug delivery and combat antibiotic resistance'


An innovative new type of skin patch has been developed as a means of administering drugs directly into the bloodstream via thousands of individual microneedles.

Created by a team from Queen's University Belfast, the microarray patches are able to painlessly penetrate the top layer of skin, before turning into a jelly-like material to keep the holes open and allow delivery of antibiotics for absorption into the bloodstream.

“Scientists have developed a new skin patch that administers drugs directly into the bloodstream, potentially offering a solution to the antibiotic resistance crisis.“

One of the key benefits of this new technology is that the method completely bypasses the digestive system, meaning that antibiotics will not enter the colon, where drug-resistant strains of bacteria often develop.

As such, it could offer a new breakthrough in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, as it allows antibiotics to be more safely administered than current oral methods, while also avoiding the need for injections.

Ryan Donnelly, professor of pharmaceutical technology at Queen's University Belfast, said: "If we are successful, this approach will significantly extend the lifespan of existing antibiotics, allowing time for development of the next generation of antibiotics. In doing so, this work has the potential to save many lives."

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