Microneedle Patch Image
The microneedles are so small that they do not reach the pain receptors, making the treatment relatively painless. (Credit: Jill Ziesmer)

MRSA skin infections are often treated with intravenous injection of antibiotics, which can cause significant side effects and promote the development of resistant bacterial strains. To solve these problems, researchers are developing a microneedle patch that delivers antibiotics directly into the affected skin, effectively reducing MRSA bacteria.

The microneedle patches consist of miniaturised needles made from a polymer that is loaded with the drug. An innovative microneedle design efficiently controls the drug amounts delivered into the skin.

The patch is placed on the skin at the site of infection. The barely visible microneedles are so small that they do not reach the pain receptors, which makes the treatment relatively painless. The microneedles’ ability to penetrate the skin was studied in skin tissue from piglets and excised human skin. The results show that the drug was effectively delivered into the skin, and most importantly, significantly reduced the MRSA bacterial population.

The next step is to further develop the product so that it exerts antimicrobial activity through multiple modes of action in order to improve efficacy.

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