Skin Patch Administers Medication Just When You Need It

Multi-functional nanotechnology fits into a band-aid sized piece of material.

Adhesive patches that can monitor your vitals are already viable, but a team from the University of Texas in Austin have managed developed one that can even deliver medication. This particle feature could eventually be used to aid those with Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

The device is made from layered nanomaterials, which includes sensors, onboard storage, medication, and microheaters – all bundled into a 0.3 millimetre thick band-aid that that mimics the softness and flexibility of the skin.

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All of that means it can track skin temperature and body movements, which it then keeps track of using its RAM memory. These readings can trigger the release of medication that is absorbed through the skin, and provide an immediate response to biometrics that signal an impending epileptic fit, for example.

While it’s an impressive achievement, the device will only work if it’s connected to a power supply and data transmitter. Until these two components can be shrunk down to size, the prototype is unlikely to see any real-world use. There are other challenges such as signal strength and data readability as well.

The new research paper was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology.

[h/t] Nature, SlashGear

 

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