National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research (NIPER), Guwahati has invented a 3D printed medicated skin patch, which will be used to treat Tuberculosis.
The developed prototypes have been filed for Indian patent and granted recently by the Indian Patent Office, NIPER said in a statement.
Currently, it is awaiting an approach from pharmaceutical companies for commercial production.
The product has been developed through an 18-month untiring and continuous research effort, and is the first of its kind in the country as far as 3D printed medicated skin patches are concerned, it said.
The research work was carried out in the Department of Pharmaceutics, NIPER Guwahati which was funded by Assam state-run Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC).
"Unlike the regular skin patches, which are generally created through so-called solvent-casting based conventional methodology, this skin patch is created through the adoption of green technology with ZERO involvement of solvent usage," said USN Murty, Director, NIPER Guwahati.
He said that the patches can be easily applied externally on the skin surface with the support of a drug-impermeable backing membrane in one end, while on the other end the patch is protected with the application of release-liner.
The best thing about the patch is that it contains nutraceuticals which are commonly found in routine vegetables that we consume regularly"The skin patch has been tested and proven to work for 18 days," said Murty.
The work was carried out by a team comprising Vishal S. Chaudhari and Tushar K. Malakar, research fellow under the supervision of Dr. Subham Banerjee, faculty from Pharmaceutics Dept.
"The best thing about the patch is that it contains nutraceuticals which are commonly found in routine vegetables that we consume regularly," Dr Banerjee said.
"We made our own fully customized filament, which is not available in any market, simply by using GRAS certified biocompatible polymers, and converted the fabricated filament to customized skin patch with thorough in vitro, ex vivo & in vivo validations by the virtue of FDM mediated 3D printing technology," he added.
This medicated patch is believed to be a crucial invention for the people of Assam given the fact that tuberculosis is quite prevalent in this part of the country.
In 2017, the union health ministry ran a campaign to detect TB patients in char areas, tea gardens or hills of six districts of Assam - Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Baksa, Barpeta, Darrang and Kamrup.
"The foundation of the study was a news report published in Telegraph in 2017 about this campaign.
"The idea was developed to make available an easy-to-use yet effective way to treat tuberculosis so that people can afford it and use it just like a regular patch with full treatment adherence and compliance which are very important aspects for TB treatment. This attempt is a part of affordable health care," Dr. Murty said.