Patches to the rescue

By Anne Trafton

Patches stuck to the skin can be an appealing alternative to injections, pills, and other ways of getting medicines into the body. Two MIT groups have found ways to advance this technology.

Canan Dagdeviren, an associate professor in the Media Lab, and colleagues developed a patch that applies painless ultrasonic waves, creating tiny channels that help drugs pass through. This approach could deliver treatments for skin conditions and could also be adapted for hormones, muscle relaxants, and other drugs, the researchers say.

In tests, 26 times more of a drug passed through pig skin than was possible without ultrasonic assistance.

Related Content