Researchers from the University of Warwick have created the first patch with effective doses of ibuprofen. Developed in association with the spinout Medherant, and using polymer technology of the adhesive company Bostik, the patch delivers the painkiller through the skin, directly to the desired area.
The patch is a transparent, adhesive polymer matrix that can hold 30% of its weight in drugs. The patch sticks to the patient’s skin and releases the drug at a constant rate for up to 12 hours. It outperforms the rest of medical patches or gels in the market, which usually have just a warming effect and/or unproductive doses of painkillers. The new patch can retain a drug load 5 to 10 times higher than the previous ones, and release it over a longer period of time.
A patch based on a new polymer
Medherant’s technology has improved transdermal drug delivery by creating a polymer with new and relevant characteristics. First, it sticks to the skin but doesn’t leave any material behind when removed. Second, it is compatible with many different drugs; the authors have already tested a methyl salicylate patch based on the same technology. Third, the polymer creates a transparent, flexible and thin structure.
The ibuprofen patch paves the way for the treatment of patients that suffer localized chronic pain. The drug is delivered directly to the area, with a precise dose released over a controlled time, avoiding the unwanted effects of oral prescription.
Source: U. of Warwick