Published on: 08-Aug-2014
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Scars develop as a result of abnormal wound healing that generates disfiguring and painful tissue. These often cause social and psychological issues to the patient, especially in more severe Keloid scars that encroach upon healthy skin. Despite a relatively high rate of incidence, where 1- 15% of a population is afflicted, current clinical therapeutics are deemed to be unsatisfactory. While the most established treatments involve painful injections and have a recurrence rate, other treatments can be expensive and invariably require the involvement of healthcare personnel. Exploiting advances in the field of microelectronics, a self-administered patch releasing the FDA-approved drug 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) has been designed by a combined team from Asst Profs Chenjie Xu and Yuejun Kang’s laboratory here at SCBE, NTU. Their study has just been published in the June issue of the journal, TECHNOLOGY (2014). Results carried out in laboratory tests show that drug release from the microneedle and its physical contact was able to reduce and prevent keloid scar growth. Following its publication, this work has been highlighted in several biomedical news sites as well as the Lian He Zao Bao (5th August 2014), Singapore’s most popular broadsheet. "Most patients seek treatment due to disfigurement, pain or itching of scars," says Assistant Professor Xu Chenjie of SCBE, NTU who leads this study. "We developed a simple, convenient, and cost-effective device to inhibit keloid scar growth," adds Yuejun Kang, the co-corresponding author of the paper. This technology, developed with guidance from the National Skin Centre, Singapore, also shows promise in animal models. This collaboration will facilitate the eventual clinical translation of the microneedle patch as a cost-effective, self-administered device to treat keloid scars.
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