Using the potion as the ink, Chinese scientists invented a printable personalized drug delivery patch

Recently, Professor Gu Zhen’s team at Zhejiang University collaborated with Professor Huang Peng of Shenzhen University and others to develop a printable personalized drug delivery patch for the local treatment of skin diseases. On October 12, 2022, the related paper “Printable personalized drug delivery patch for the topical therapy of skin diseases” was published in the journal Matter, and the first author of the paper was Professor Shao Jundong of Guangzhou Medical University.

Skin diseases are the most common of all human health problems, is the epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous tissue of all diseases of the collective, the current known skin diseases as many as thousands, seriously affecting the work, life and physical and mental health of billions of people around the world. Over the past few decades, topical therapies that deliver drugs topically to the site of action of the skin have been the preferred route for the treatment of dermatological diseases and have attracted attention for their convenience, low side effects and low cost. However, these drugs often cause side effects on the normal skin around the lesion, such as itching, peeling, tingling, burning, erythema, rash, dermatitis, allergies, discoloration, etc. In addition, the control of the dose of local drugs is also very important, insufficient doses often lead to poor efficacy, and too high doses may cause serious toxic side effects. Therefore, how to accurately control the location, range, dosage, etc. of drug release in a personalized way has become a key challenge in the current development of topical drug delivery systems.

In response to this problem, the research team has developed a personalized precision drug delivery system based on printable patches for precise delivery of drugs and precise control of topical therapeutic doses in the treatment of skin diseases. They use medicine as ink and directly fill the drug solution into the piezoelectric ink cartridge of the inkjet printer; The printable patch as a “paper” is composed of three thin polymer films and prepared layer by layer by spin coating technology. The base material is FEP, which has the characteristics of high transparency, non-stickiness and excellent mechanical properties, and provides mechanical support for printable patches; The protective layer is a PLGA film with a porous structure, which can play a role in waterproof and breathable; The water/oil-soluble polymer HPC acts as a drug carrier layer with good skin viscosity and can be used for printing and delivery of various drugs.

Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the preparation and use of personalized drug delivery patches.

Subsequently, printable patches and drug solutions are replaced by traditional printing paper and ink, and personalized imaging results of the lesion site are analyzed according to the dermatoscope, guiding the improved inkjet printer for drug printing. It enables personalized drug patches based on the location, extent, distribution and severity of the lesion, delivering the drug to a specific lesion site in the optimal topical dose, ultimately enabling personalized and precise local treatment of skin diseases. This personalized drug delivery system based on printable drug patches is suitable for printing a variety of substances, such as pharmaceutical preparations, macromolecules, cells, water-soluble compounds, oil-soluble compounds, etc., and can be potentially used for the local treatment of a variety of skin diseases, such as pigment abnormalities, vitiligo, skin cancer, epidermal infections, skin trauma, etc.

Figure 2: Customized and printed drug patches based on the location, extent, distribution, and severity of the lesion.

The materials selected for this institute are all biocompatible, environmentally friendly, and the preparation process of personalized printable drug patches is simple, easy to operate, does not require complex and expensive equipment, and is easy to achieve industrial production. The research team has applied for relevant invention patents and is actively promoting the application for relevant clinical trials to use this “private custom” patch in clinical practice as soon as possible. (Source: Science Network)

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