Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Microneedle patch could replace standard tuberculosis skin test

27.08.2013
Each year, millions of people in the United States get a tuberculosis skin test to see if they have the infection that still affects one-third of the world’s population.

But the standard diagnostic test is difficult to give, because a hypodermic needle must be inserted at a precise angle and depth in the arm to successfully check for tuberculosis.


Marco Rolandi, UW

A chitin microneedle patch tested on human skin.


Marco Rolandi, UW

Comparison of a microneedle tuberculosis test with a traditional test administered with a hypodermic needle. The lower images show needle-depth problems that can occur with the conventional test.

Now, a team led by University of Washington engineers has created a patch with tiny, biodegradable needles that can penetrate the skin and precisely deliver a tuberculosis test. The researchers published their results online Aug. 26 in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

“With a microneedle test there’s little room for user error, because the depth of delivery is determined by the microneedle length rather than the needle-insertion angle,” said senior author Marco Rolandi, a UW assistant professor of materials science and engineering. “This test is painless and easier to administer than the traditional skin test with a hypodermic needle.”

A tuberculosis test is a common precautionary measure for teachers, health care professionals and international travelers. The bacterial infection usually attacks the lungs and can live in an inactive state for years in the body. A diagnostic test involves an injection in a person’s arm. Within two or three days, a swollen, firm bump will appear if an infection is present.

Rolandi’s lab and collaborators at the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle believe this is the first time microneedles made from biomaterials have been used as a diagnostic tool for tuberculosis. They say their test will be easier to use, less painful and has the potential to be more successful than the standard tuberculosis skin test.

The researchers tested the patch on guinea pigs and found that after the microneedles were inserted using the patch, the skin reaction associated with having a tuberculosis infection was the same as when using the standard hypodermic needle test. A microneedle patch test has potential as a simpler, more reliable option than the traditional tuberculosis test for children who are needle-shy, or in developing countries where medical care is limited, Rolandi said.

“It’s like putting on a bandage,” Rolandi said. “As long as the patch is applied on the skin, the test is always delivered to the same depth underneath the skin.”

Comparison of a microneedle tuberculosis test with a traditional test administered with a hypodermic needle. The lower images show needle-depth problems that can occur with the conventional test.

With the standard test, if a hypodermic needle is inserted at the wrong angle, the solution to check for tuberculosis is injected too deep or too shallow into the skin, and the test fails.

Microneedles have been used in recent years as a painless alternative to hypodermic needles to deliver drugs to the body. Microneedles on a patch can be placed on an arm or leg, which then create small holes in the skin’s outermost layer, allowing the drugs coated on each needle to diffuse into the body.

Microneedles are made from silicon, metals and synthetic polymers, and most recently of natural, biodegradable materials such as silk and chitin, a material found in hard outer shells of some insects and crustaceans.

The UW team developed microneedles made from chitin that are each 750 micrometers long, or about one-fortieth of an inch. Each needle tip is coated with purified protein derivative, the material used for testing for tuberculosis. The researchers found that these microneedles were strong enough to penetrate the skin and deliver the tuberculosis test.

“It’s a great application of this technology and I hope it will become a commercial product,” said paper co-author Darrick Carter, a biochemist and a vice president at the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

The researchers will continue developing the microneedle tuberculosis test and plan to test it next on humans. They also hope to develop different diagnostic tests using microneedles, including allergy tests.

Other co-authors are Jungho Jin, a UW postdoctoral researcher in materials science and engineering, and Valerie Reese and Rhea Coler, both at the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

The research was funded by the Coulter Foundation, the UW Center for Commercialization, the Washington Research Foundation, a 3M untenured faculty award and the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

For more information, contact Rolandi at rolandi@uw.edu or 206-221-0309.

Michelle Ma | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uw.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>