Researchers at Hewlett-Packard have developed a patch that
uses thermal ink jet technology from printers to administer drugs to patients.
Dermal patches as drug administration devices are certainly nothing new, but
the method HP has developed is new.
The patch uses micro needles to inject drugs below the skin
of a patient and has the ability to be programmed to control the exact amount
of medication delivered to a patient. The patch can also be programmed to
deliver doses on a specific time schedule.
Current dermal medication delivery devices rely on placing
drugs into a substrate that can be absorbed through the skin. This method
doesn’t work for all types of medications, and there is no method of precise
control for current dermal medication delivery patches.
The medical patch uses a material that expands when heated,
thereby delivering the medication through the micro needles. Lim Eng Hann,
associate director of intellectual property licensing at HP told PC World, “the microneedles do penetrate the
skin, but they are designed so that they don’t penetrate deep enough to impact
When equipped with basic electronics and a power source the
patch measures about 2.5-square centimeters and is 3-millimeters thick and is
covered with approximately 400 to 1000 microneedles.
quote: Please load fresh medication cartridge to continue....
quote: ...and is covered with approximately 400 to 1000 microneedles.