A smart skin patch based on HP’s thermal inkjet technology has received an Emerging Tech award from the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, a newspaper covering the region’s business community.
The patch, which was honored in the medical devices category, uses ultra-fine needles to pump precise doses of medications just under the surface of the skin -- with virtually no pain.
Because it contains independent reservoirs controlled by a computer chip, the patch can administer one or more drugs in changing doses and times -- depending on a patient's needs.
Existing skin patches, which require medication be absorbed through the skin, have limited effectiveness because the skin acts as a natural barrier and is not a suitable delivery mechanism for many drugs.
The device grew from an effort to re-purpose HP technologies – in this case, the thermal inkjet technology traditionally used to precisely position droplets of ink on paper – for new markets, says HP Labs researcher Janice Nickel. Nickel teamed with researchers in Singapore and Puerto Rico to develop the patch.
HP has licensed the technology to Crospon -- a medical-device development company based in Galway, Ireland -- to manufacture and market the device.