If drugs are to enter the body painlessly and efficiently, they can be administered via skin patches. Researchers at Empa and the University of Fribourg are currently developing nano-containers for therapeutic agents that can be controlled by light.
Not every medication is suitable for oral administration as a pill or can be injected with a syringe. The skin – our largest organ – on the other hand offers a large and permeable surface to absorb active substances. Nicotine, painkillers and contraceptives can already be administered through the skin using patches. Researchers at Empa in St. Gallen and the Adolphe Merkle Institute at the University of Fribourg are currently developing a system, with which the effect of drugs can be controlled by light switches. This allows precise control, for instance, of the dosage of active ingredients and opens up new possibilities for therapies with “transdermal” patches.