Dec 20, 2011Legal
Silk microneedles painlessly deliver controlled-release drugs

Bioengineers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed a silk-based microneedle able to deliver precise drug amounts over a set time. In addition, these new silk microneedles inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of Staph infections), demonstrating their potential to prevent local infections while delivering medication. Microneedles—no more than a micron in size and able to penetrate the upper layer of the skin without reaching nerves—are emerging as a painless way to deliver drugs that can’t survive the gastrointestinal tract. Their development has been slowed by harsh manufacturing requirements that destroy sensitive biochemicals, the inability to precisely control drug release or deliver sufficient drug volumes and problems with infections at the puncture site. The process developed by the Tufts researchers addresses all of these limitations.

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