Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a drug delivery system called the Spatiotemporal On-Demand Patch (SOP). The SOP is a thin, soft patch resembling a Band-Aid that can receive wireless commands from a smartphone or computer to schedule and trigger the release of drugs from individual microneedles. The patch was designed for comfort and wearability, making it suitable for chronically ill patients.
In tests on a mouse model, the SOP delivered melatonin to improve sleep. The researchers believe the wirelessly controlled patch could be used to deliver on-demand treatments for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. The patch enables highly localized treatment, and drug release can be triggered within 30 seconds in response to an electrical signal. The system has the potential to house multiple drugs and automatically program their sequential release.