Improving Skin Permeability for Drugs

Guest_Jim_* - September 21, 2012 12:13PM in Science & Technology

There are many medicines which people have to take to be healthy, including vaccines, steroids, and insulin for a diabetic. Typically these are injected with syringes, but there has been research to make them topical, so they are applied to the surface of the skin. The skin is not always cooperative with this though, which is why syringes are still used, but researchers at MIT may have a solution to change this.

Previous research has already shown that ultrasonic frequencies can remove the top layer of the skin painlessly. This happens as a result of the vibrations creating air bubbles that implode, causing the surrounding fluids to rush in as microjets. What the MIT researchers have done is added a second, lower frequency to the system. As the high frequency creates a great deal of bubbles and keeps them in the same area, the lower frequency pops them.

This technique successfully improved the absorption of glucose by a factor of 10 and insulin by a factor of 4. The researchers are confident that by making additional tweaks, even high absorption rates can be achieved, which will relieve a lot of needle-hating patients.