Chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, can be painful and debilitating to treat because antibiotic-resistant “biofilms” grow on the damaged tissue. However, it has been demonstrated that a novel form of microneedle patch can deliver medication through such coatings.

Scientists at the University of Purdue, Indiana, have developed a biodegradable polymer composite patch with a set of tiny medication-laden “microneedle” studs on the bottom.

These microneedles penetrate the biofilm and absorb the fluid of the underlying tissue when the patch is placed to a chronic wound. This way, the medication can dissolve into the tissue safely.

As the needles aren’t long enough to reach nerve endings, the patient feels no pain while this takes place. The patch is removed after the treatment is over, leaving the biofilm and the rest of the wound – untouched.

During lab tests, the microneedle patch successfully delivered calcium peroxide through biofilms and into the underlying tissue on pig skin samples with chronic wounds. In addition, the needles dissolved in less than five minutes. Calcium peroxide produces oxygen, which kills bacteria and stimulates tissue growth.

Human clinical trials are currently being planned.

According to wonderfulengineering