Itsy Bitsy Micro Depot

The thought of pulling tape off of your skin is not pleasant. Imagine taping your skin with tape full of needles. Wut? Sounds worse than it is. Let me explain.

Introducing the detachable hybrid microneedle depot (d-HMND). The picture above has a little white bar indicating the scale size of 3 millimeters. The itsy bitsy microneedles have a volume of 0.007 microliters, or seven one thousands of one millionth of a liter. Each needle hold about 70 cells. In the research described here, they hold multipotent Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that help tissues regenerate by spurring the growth of blood vessels and the suppression of inflammation, among other things.

Did you notice the scotch-tape substrate? Yes, they apply this to wounded skin and then peel the tape off leaving behind a biocompatible and biodegradable biomaterial matrix. The advantage for the healing process is that instead of wastefully applying medicine to a general area, precise amounts of biospecific therapies are delivered precisely to the tissues all at once. In particular, these itsy bitsy magic bandaids can (1) be fabricated in real time with (2) patient-derived cells when applicable.

The image above comes from the original research article revealing a closer look into these microneedles and their deposition process.

Lee, K., Xue, Y., Lee, J., Kim, H.‐J., Liu, Y., Tebon, P., Sarikhani, E., Sun, W., Zhang, S., Haghniaz, R., Çelebi‐Saltik, B., Zhou, X., Ostrovidov, S., Ahadian, S., Ashammakhi, N., Dokmeci, M. R., Khademhosseini, A., A Patch of Detachable Hybrid Microneedle Depot for Localized Delivery of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Regeneration Therapy. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2020, 30, 2000086. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202000086

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