Skin patch to monitor patients and dispense drugs
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A new electronic skin patch able to monitor muscle movement will determine when it is time to deliver its payload of medicine, and could prove particularly beneficial to patients with epilepsy or Parkinson's disease.
Although there are other adhesive medical patches in development already, this one will be the first that will be able to both store data and deliver drugs. The small, flexible polymer patch will be equipped with multiple layers of nanomembranes and nanoparticles. These layers will include silicon nanomembranes that will monitor motion and strain, chromium and gold nanowires that will function and heaters and temperature sensors and silica nanoparticles that will be loaded with drugs.
When the strain sensors detect a tremor-like motion, the patch will activate its internal heater, which will trigger the release of the drugs. The temperature sensor will ensure the heater will not get warm enough to burn the patient's skin.