Conventional melanoma therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, suffer from the toxicity and side effects of repeated treatments due to the aggressive and recurrent nature of melanoma cells.
Less invasive topical chemotherapies have emerged as alternatives but their widespread uses have been hindered by both the painful size of the microneedles and the rapidly dissolving behavior of polymers used in the treatments.
Innovators have created a novel wearable patch to help address the issues and provide an improved treatment experience for people with melanoma. The patch uses fully miniaturized needles, enabling unobtrusive drug delivery through the skin for the management of skin cancers. The patch is fully dissolvable by body fluids in a programmable manner such that the patch substrate is dissolved within one minute after the introduction of needles into the skin, followed by gradual dissolution of the silicon needles inside the tissues within several months.
The gradual slow dissolution of the silicon nanoneedles allows for long-lasting and sustainable delivery of cancer therapeutics. The silicon nanoneedles with sharpened angular tips penetrate the skin in a painless and minimally invasive manner.
The novel design consists of the bioresorbable silicon nanoneedles built on a thin, flexible, and water-soluble medical film. The water-soluble film serves as a temporary holder that can be conformably interfaced with the soft, curvilinear surface of the skin during the insertion of the nanoneedles, followed by rapid, complete dissolution. The surface of the nanoneedles is configured with nanoscale pores and provides a large drug loading capacity comparable to those using conventional microneedles.
The nanoneedles could deliver the chemotherapeutic drugs to target melanoma sites in a sustainable manner. The silicon nanoneedles can be completely resorbed in the body over months in a harmless manner.