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Tech to tackle antibiotic resistance

It is hoped that a new type of skin patch that administers drugs directly into the bloodstream through thousands of individual “microneedles” could be used in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Microneedles patch

The patches contain an array of tiny projections that penetrate the top layer of skin to deliver a drug. Oral administration of antibiotics contributes significantly to development of antibiotic resistance, due to interaction of antibiotics with bacteria inhabiting the human gut.

So avoiding antibiotic exposure of the gut bacteria may considerably extend the useful lifespan of existing antibiotics, providing time for developing new antibiotics. A team of researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, led by Professor Ryan Donnelly, is developing the microarray patches. He said: “If we are successful, this will significantly extend the lifespan of existing antibiotics, allowing time for development of the next generation of antibiotics.”

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