Scientists Create Smart Skin Patch That Dispenses Timely Meds

One of the key problems in treating a long-term medical condition is adhering to a set routine of medicine intake. To resolve this, scientists have now created a smart skin patch which can automatically dispense drugs when needed.

Smart skin patch

Pharmaceutical companies have long been seeking such a solution. Many patients are either unable to take their medicine at the prescribed time or they simply don’t know the right amount of medicine to take at a given time.

A device which could monitor all the key vitals and symptoms of a patient can help with this. Until now, this didn’t seem possible as most systems couldn’t monitor the vitals. But now, a group of scientists have come up with a smart skin patch which can smartly dispense the medicine into the patient’s body.

This skin patch is 2 inches long and shaped like a rectangle. It is created from stretchable nanomaterials and contains heat-activated silica nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are able to accurately measure muscle activity and using this information, dispense medicine into the patient’s body. Such a solution may finally herald a generation of smart and tiny medicine-dispensing devices.

The co-author of the study which revealed this accomplishment, Dae-Hyeong Kim says, “People are very interested in continuous and controlled drug delivery.” He reveals how the use of stretchable materials enables a controlled dose of a required medicine. He further says, “In the future, wireless components should be integrated.¬†and then this system will be connected to wireless networks.”

If such patches could be made wireless, doctors would be able to remotely monitor a patient’s vitals and symptoms, and direct the patch whether or not to deliver any medicine. However, it will be another 5 years or so before such skin patches reach the market.

Source: Nature Nanotechnology
Courtesy: The Verge

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Salman Latif is a software engineer with a specific interest in social media, big data and real-world solutions using the two.Other than that, he is a bit of a gypsy. He also writes in his own blog. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter .

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