Silicon nanoneedle patches are currently placed between skin, muscles, or tissues where they deliver exact doses of biomolecules. Commercially available silicon nanoneedle patches are usually constructed on a rigid and opaque silicon wafer. The rigidity can cause discomfort and cannot be left in the body very long.
A method was developed that enables physical transfer of vertically ordered silicon nanoneedles from their original silicon wafer to a bio-patch. The nanoneedle patch is a flexible and translucent base for silicon nanoneedle patches to deliver exact doses of biomolecules directly into cells and expand observational opportunities. It also allows simultaneous real-time observation of the interaction between cells and nanoneedles.
Eight or nine silicon nanoneedles can be injected into a single cell without significantly damaging a cell. As a result, the nanoneedles can be used to deliver biomolecules into cells or tissues with minimal invasiveness. The nanoneedles are partly embedded in a thin, flexible, and transparent bio-patch that can be worn on the skin and can deliver controlled doses of biomolecules.
The patch's functionality could be extended to act as an external skin patch, lowering the pain, invasiveness, and toxicity associated with long-term drug delivery.