Smart patches fitted with micro needles to deliver insulin could “revolutionise” treatment for diabetes sufferers, scientists have claimed.
The 0.7mm hollow needles would be less intrusive than standard needles by only perforating the surface of the skin.
The patch would monitor insulin levels and the micro needles deliver the dose.
Scientists in Swansea believe micro needles will change medicinal delivery in various ways, such as being attached to a syringe to administer vaccines.
Prof Owen Guy, director of the Centre of NanoHealth and head of chemistry at Swansea University, said combining the smart patch and the injection would be the ultimate aim.
But in the meantime, the focus is on bringing the silicon-based needles into production over the next two years, which could be worth “billions of pounds”.
“There are very few hollow micro needles being developed and certainly very few on the market,” he said.
“I think that’s because it is particularly challenging to develop a hollow micro needle with a sharp tip.
“The sharpness of the tip determines how easy it is to penetrate the skin and the efficacy of the injection and therefore the efficacy of the delivery of the drug into the skin.”
The micro needles are being developed with Newport-based SPTS Technologies and only penetrate the top layer of skin where there are no blood vessels or nerve cells.
Read more at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-44546252