The team at the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Dr Kang Lifeng have developed a technique to encapsulate collagen in tiny needles attached to an adhesive patch.
According to the scientists, when applied to the skin, the microneedles deliver collagen rapidly without any discomfort to the user.
They say that thanks to the novel transdermal delivery system, the innovation could be used for cosmetic and skin care purposes to deliver collagen to the inner skin layers.
Enabling deeper penetration of collagen into the skin
Thus, to expand their research on potential applications of the patch, the NUS team conducted a study to explore its effectiveness in delivering collagen into skin.
The team encapsulated collagen in the microneedles and tested the transdermal delivery of collagen using the novel technique. They found that collagen can be delivered up to the dermis layer of the skin, while current skin care products can only deliver to the outermost layer of skin.
The findings of this study were first published earlier this year in the scientific journal Pharmaceutical Research.
The researchers intend to conduct clinical testing of the painkiller patch to further ascertain its effectiveness for clinical applications. They will also be conducting clinical studies to examine the efficacy of delivering collagen for cosmetic and skin care purposes.
Recognizing that their novel transdermal delivery system is easy to fabricate and commercially scalable, the scientists are also keen to work with industry partners to commercialise their work.
The researchers have filed a patent for their technique through the NUS Industry Liaison Office, which is part of NUS Enterprise.