Nanotech Band-Aid could deliver drugs


Medical engineers said Sunday they have created a device the size of a Band-Aid that can monitor patients by tracking their muscle activity before administering their medication.

Methods for monitoring so-called movement disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease have traditionally included video recordings or wearable devices, but these tend to be bulky and inflexible.

But a team from South Korea and the United States has used nanomaterials to create a flexible and stretchable device that resembles an adhesive bandage.

Still a prototype, the gadget comprises multiple layers of ultrathin nanomembranes and nanoparticles, the creators wrote in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

When worn on the wrist of a patient, the patch could measure and record muscle activity. The recorded data then triggered the release, with the aid of a wafer-thin internal heater, of drugs stored inside the nanoparticles. A temperature sensor made of silicon nanomembranes monitored the skin temperature to prevent burns during drug delivery.