Friday, 28 May 2021

Microneedle patch delivers antibiotics locally in the skin


 

MRSA skin infections are often treated with intravenous injection of antibiotics, which can cause significant side effects and promote the development of resistant bacterial strains. To solve these problems, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden are developing a microneedle patch that delivers antibiotics directly into the affected skin area. New results published in Advanced Materials Technologies show that the microneedle patch effectively reduces MRSA bacteria in the skin.

 

MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) skin infections are potentially lethal, especially in patients with compromised immune systems. Vancomycin is one of the main treatments and is given as an intravenous injection. The reason the antibiotic is not given locally is because of its low ability to penetrate the skin. It is not given orally either because of poor absorption through the gut. The problem with systemic administration is that it often results in significant side effects. Moreover, even when relatively high doses are administered, the local concentration of vancomycin in the skin remains low, which may promote the development of antibiotic resistant strains. Thus, there is a clinical need for local delivery of vancomycin to the skin.

 

 

The patch is placed on the skin at the site of infection. The barely visible microneedles are so small that they do not reach the pain receptors, which makes the treatment relatively painless. The microneedles' ability to penetrate the skin was studied in skin tissue from piglets and excised human skin. The results show that the drug was effectively delivered into the skin, and most importantly, significantly reduced the MRSA bacterial population.

 

Microneedles were voted one of the top 10 emerging technologies by World Economic Forum in 2020. They are already in clinical use for administering vaccines and there are many ongoing clinical trials for other uses such as treating diabetes, cancer and neuropathic pain.

 

See:

 

Jill Ziesmer, Poojabahen Tajpara, Nele‐Johanna Hempel, Marcus Ehrström, Keira Melican, Liv Eidsmo, Georgios A. Sotiriou. Vancomycin‐Loaded Microneedle Arrays against Methicillin‐Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infections. Advanced Materials Technologies, 2021; 2001307 DOI: 10.1002/admt.202001307

 

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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