Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Prototype developed for ultrasonic patch to deliver insulin


Penn State engineers have developed a prototype for an ultrasound insulin delivery system that is about the size and weight of a matchbook that can be worn as a patch on the body.

Dr. Nadine Barrie Smith, assistant professor of bioengineering, says, "The new Penn State ultrasound patch, which operates in the same frequency range as the large commercially available sonic drug delivery devices, is about an inch-and-a-half by an inch-and-a-half in size and weighs less than an ounce. Commercially available sonicators currently have a probe about eight inches long which weighs over two pounds."

Experiments with human skin and with live rats have shown that the new ultrasound patch delivers therapeutically effective doses of insulin.

The new prototype is described in detail in "Transducer Design for a Portable Ultrasound Enhanced Transdermal Drug-Delivery System," published in the current (October) issue of the IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control.

The key to the new ultrasound patch is a "cymbal" transducer developed by Dr. Robert Newnham, the Alcoa professor emeritus of solid state science. The transducer produces the sound waves that drive the medication through the skin and into the blood stream. The cymbal transducer consists of a thin disk of piezoelectric ceramic material sandwiched between titanium end caps shaped like cymbals. Four of these transducers are used in the prototype.

A thin reservoir of insulin is placed in front of the cymbal transducer and when a current is applied, sound waves just above the level of human hearing push the medication through the skin and into the blood vessels.

Smith notes, "Our experiments with rats show that an exposure of 20 minutes produced the same result as a 60-minute exposure. So, we are hopeful that, eventually, we may be able to tune the system so that one to five minutes of exposure may be enough."

Currently, diabetics must either inject insulin via hypodermic needles or use a mini-pump with a catheter that remains implanted in their body. Ultrasound offers a less painful and invasive alternative.

Besides insulin, some medications used to treat AIDS, pain relievers, asthma drugs, and hormones are deliverable via ultrasound, Smith adds. Those medications and, perhaps, some others that cannot be taken by mouth, are candidates for administration via the new ultrasound patch.

Her co-authors are Emiliano Maione, graduate student; Dr. K. Kirk Shung, professor of bioengineering; Dr. Richard J. Meyer, research associate at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory (ARL); Dr. Jack W. Hughes, ARL Senior scientist and professor of acoustics; Newnham; and Smith. The rat experiments are described in "Ultrasound Mediated Transdermal in vivo Transport of Insulin with Low Profile Cymbal Arrays," presented this month at the IEEE 2002 Ultrasonics Symposium in Munich, Germany. The authors are Seungjun Lee, graduate student, Smith and Shung.

The research was supported, in part, with laboratory start-up funds provided to Smith by the University.

Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern 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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>