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A microneedle dressing can realize intelligent wound management

Time : 2021-09-20 Hits : 17

Skin damage is inevitable, and wounds caused by chronic diseases often require long-term recovery. Chronic healing of wounds can lead to serious complications such as bacterial infection and bleeding. When traditional wound dressings (gauze and hydrogel, etc.) are used to treat chronic wounds, there are some disadvantages such as uncontrollable drug release, adhesion with wound tissue and single function. In order to solve these problems, researches on wound dressings with multi-function and controllable drug release have been intensified. Among them, microneedle (MN) patch shows great potential in constructing multifunctional dressings for intelligent wound management. The MN patch can penetrate the skin without reaching nerves and blood vessels, enabling minimally invasive administration. In addition, controlled drug release can be achieved by using stimulus-responsive materials to encapsulate drug molecules in the needle.


Schematic diagram of shark tooth microneedle dressings for intelligent wound management

Inspired by the structure of shark teeth, a team from Nanjing University of Technology reported a microneedle patch for intelligent wound management. MN dressings containing patterned channels were copied from laser sculpted negative polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) molds. The bionic structure enables the microneedle patch to have a stable adhesion during the long-term recovery of chronic wounds. Controlled drug delivery system can be constructed on microneedle patch using porous ordered structure and temperature-responsive hydrogel. Microfluidic channels consisting of microneedle arrays and porous ordered structures enable the analysis of multiple inflammatory factors in the microneedle patch. In addition, MXene electronics are patterned on the microneedle patch for sensitive motion monitoring.


Preparation of patterned MN patch with shark tooth structure

A temperature-responsive N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAM) hydrogel was used to construct an intelligent drug delivery system on MN patch. Porous IO PC structure was introduced on the surface of the microneedle to enhance its drug storage capacity. When infection occurs, the temperature in the wound area can be as high as 39.4 ° C. Increased temperature in the wound area causes the temperature-responsive NIPAM hydrogel to shrink, releasing encapsulated therapeutic drugs. In addition, multifunctional MN patches require a high degree of integration of various functional components (microneedles, microfluidic channels, and electrodes) into a complete patch. The researchers fabricated the two-sided MN patch using a simple folding technique, with one side containing drug-loaded microneedles and microfluidic channels for drug therapy and biochemical analysis, and the other side containing a flexible electrode for motion sensing.


Microfluidics and electronics integration for MN patch

To verify the biochemical analysis capability of MN dressing, lactate and calprotectin contained in the sample were analyzed using MN dressing. The concentration of biomarkers is indicated by the fluorescence intensity of the detection area. The fluorescence intensity of lactic acid was linearly correlated with the concentration range from 0 to 350 mmol/L. The fluorescence intensity and concentration of calprotectin were linearly correlated from 0 to 300 mg/L. These results suggest that MN dressings are capable of biochemical analysis. In order to give MN dressing the ability of motion sensing, MXene based circuit is integrated on the dressing. The dressings were applied to the volunteers' fingers, wrists, elbows and knees, then bent at different angles and the corresponding changes in resistance were recorded. The results showed that MN dressing had high sensitivity of motion perception. To verify the ability of MN dressings to promote wound recovery, MN dressings used in animal experiments were encapsulated with human epidermal growth factor (hEGF). The results showed that MN dressing containing hEGF showed better recovery ability.


Application of MN dressing in motion sensing


Related research results were published in ACS Nano under the title "Shark Tooth-Inspired Microneedle Dressing for Intelligent WoundManagement".

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