USA: The U.S. researchers have developed a “pain-free” skin patch that women can press into an arm or a leg and get a month’s worth of birth control without visiting any doctor, according to a new study published in the Nature Biomedical Engineering.
The patch has dissolvable microneedles that implant into the skin and slowly dissolve over time, delivering a contraceptive hormone. It releases a birth control hormone into the skin could provide women with a long-term alternative to the pill, injection or implanted device.
Mark Prausnitz, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA, and colleagues have been experimenting with the patch that, when applied to the skin, presses microscopic, biodegradable needles under its surface, releasing the drug levonorgestrel.
“There is a lot of interest in providing more options for long-acting contraceptives,” according to Prausnitz. “Our goal is for women to be able to self-administer long-acting contraceptives with the microneedle patch that would be applied for five seconds just once a month,” he explained.
It is hoped the patch could provide contraception for up to six months once clinical tests have been completed on minimizing skin irritations and on a larger patch that has been developed for human use. If approved, the patch would be the first long-acting contraceptive to not involve an injection given by a doctor or health professional.
If approved, the patch would be the first long-acting contraceptive to not involve an injection given by a doctor or health professional.
In rats, the press-on patch delivered an even flow of a month’s worth of birth control hormone, according to the researchers. It’s effectiveness in people hasn’t been tested, but animal tests don’t always pan out in humans.
The university is working with a spin-off company called Micron Biomedical to further develop the patch, Prausnitz said.
For further reference log on to https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-018-0337-4