Mexico City. Jan. 1, 2023.—A patch loaded with biodegradable microneedles loaded with antibiotics to treat first-degree burns and wounds or ulcers in diabetic people aims to prevent infection and promote healing of this type of injury, It was designed by experts led by José Juan Escobar Chávez from the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) Cuautitlán, UNAM.
The university researcher explained in an interview that these are adhesive devices that are applied to this type of laceration and, once placed, release medication that makes contact with the affected skin.
They contain a single antibiotic, a broad-spectrum cephalosporin that covers a large number of microorganisms, as well as factors such as D-panthenol and collagen, which contribute to the regeneration of the epidermis and generate a good contouring and healing process. ; In addition, they help in moisturizing and promote cell renewal, said the expert.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 13,000 people suffer some form of burn each year in Mexico, with more than a thousand cases among children, where nine out of ten are caused by water, oil and prepared foods. The rest are caused by direct fire, electrical discharge or contact with chemicals.
Meanwhile, one of the most common complications of diabetes is diabetic foot, which is an infection, ulcer, and destruction of deep tissue in the lower extremities, according to the World Health Organization. Patients have a loss of feeling in their feet from nerve damage, which is why they don’t feel a cut, blister, or pain. These injuries can lead to ulceration or infection and in severe cases can lead to amputation.
The main problem
José Juan Escobar, expert in the design and characterization of unconventional pharmaceutical formulations, indicated that burns like chronic wounds are difficult to treat and their care represents a significant cost to the health sector; It is one of the 20 main causes of disease in Mexico.
For example, in 2021, 13,000 cases of patients with this damage of varying degrees were reported in our country. According to epidemiological studies of the health sector, in 2018 only hospital care in general recorded an expenditure of about two billion pesos.
Of this amount, approximately 46 million are related to ambulatory care, the area responsible for the care of chronic wounds that have been poorly treated, or that have developed negatively, such as cases of diabetic foot, and that are sure to come. The fact that it is the country with the largest number of diabetics in the world and with this type of injury, in addition to the aging of the population, described the expert.
For this reason, the interest in carrying out the project – directed at the treatment of grade one burns -, which is in the patenting phase and is the result of research by post-doctoral student Pablo Serrano Castañeda under his supervision; and Diego Alonso Gutiérrez Pérez and Luis Fernando Castillo Carmona, with a degree in pharmacy. It is supported by projects PAPIIT-CG100220, Conacyt-CF140617 and Research Chair 2206 (FESC).
He specified that “ointments, creams and gels are available; However, due to the characteristics of burns or chronic wounds, these products are not maintained adequately. In view of this, we want to better treat this type of wound and promote healing processes.
Escobar Chavez said that plus The development is the antibiotic it contains to prevent infectious problems, in addition to allowing a longer retention time of the drug in the affected area and factors that help with skin regeneration; Means better treatment in less time.
The patch has the potential to regenerate 100 percent of the skin, with approximate dimensions of 25 square centimeters (5 X 5 centimeters), although it can be made larger depending on the size of the lesion. If it is broken in the early stages, the extent of repair may be low. This is part of the versatility of this system.
The university’s invention was evaluated through critical mechanical tests such as resistance to breakage, adhesion and post-wetting, because different layers of the skin are exposed in chronic wounds and burns, so it is necessary to ensure that the patch adheres. be done, even that wound condition.
According to the expert, antibiotic release studies were done through microneedle array and permeation studies. in vitro For which healthy and damaged skin were used. The aim was to simulate these types of deformations or accidents.
also rated Live In an animal model (rodents), which showed positive characteristics in terms of development of wound healing in the diabetic foot and burns, a process that took one and a half weeks, meaning a shorter skin regeneration time than other systems evaluated Hence its relevance.
Escobar Chávez highlighted that in permeation studies conducted on healthy and hydrated skin, it was shown that the drug practically persists in the superficial layers of the skin, “which is positive for the purposes we want And because we want it to remain at that level, without it needing to be absorbed, it goes into the blood, and is distributed throughout the organism, which we are not interested in”.