Skin patch to prevent diabetic amputations
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A skin patch that delivers drugs directly into the foot could provide a new source of relief for diabetics who frequently suffer from foot ulcers.
Diabetes causes both blockages in the blood vessels and hinders the formation a protein called hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1a)--a protein that triggers the genes that form capillaries at wound sites. These two factors both slow wound healing, which can in turn lead to amputation.
In order to assist in the body's healing, a drug and a delivery method to increase the level of HIF-1a in diabetics are to be created. The drug's key ingredient will be deferoxamine,a long-established medication that has molecules that are too large to be absorbed by the skin if applied topically. To address this problem, it is necessary to develop a transdermal patch that will pierce the skin with tiny needles, providing a way for the drug gradually flow into the body.