December 9, 2022

Purdue microneedles puncture biofilm for more effective topical administration of antibiotics to infected wounds


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Patent pending invention from a Purdue University engineer could improve the quality of life for millions of people with diabetic foot ulcers.

Rahim Rahimi, assistant professor in the School of Materials Engineering, has developed an array of flexible polymer composite micro-needles that can overcome the physicochemical bacterial biofilm present in chronic non-healing wounds and simultaneously deliver oxygen and agents bactericides. The results were published in ACS Applied Bio Materials. A video on the invention is available on the Purdue Engineering YouTube channel.

“The biofilm acts as a shield, preventing antibiotics from reaching infected cells and tissues,” Rahimi said. “When these micro-needles pass through the shield, they absorb the fluid underneath and dissolve, which delivers the antibiotic directly to the ulcerated cells and tissues.”

Rahim Rahimi, Assistant Professor of Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, Purdue University (Purdue University photo / Vincent Walter) Download Image

Rahimi said the traditional method of bypassing the biofilm is for doctors to peel it off, which is painful for patients and does not distinguish between unhealthy and healthy tissue.

“Micro-needles don’t cause pain because they’re not long enough to touch the nerve endings in the foot,” he said. “In this published study, the team evaluated the microneedles on ex vivo porcine wound models. In less than five minutes, the microneedles dissolved, the antibiotic was administered, and the patch was removed. . “

Failure to properly treat infected ulcers can lead to bacteremia and sepsis. As a result, chronic wounds are one of the main causes of limb amputations.

The next step in developing microneedles beyond the proof of concept stage is to find partners to perform human testing. Rahimi disclosed the innovation to the Purdue Research Foundation’s technology commercialization office. OTC has applied for a patent on intellectual property. The innovation is available under license.

About the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the United States. intellectual property. The office recently moved into the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in the Discovery Park district, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In FY2020, the office reported 148 agreements finalized with 225 technologies signed, 408 disclosures received, and 180 U.S. patents issued. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally for creating startups and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, not-for-profit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact [email protected] for more information.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s most difficult challenges. Ranked in each of the past four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative Universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and extraordinary discoveries. Engaged in hands-on, online learning in the real world, Purdue provides transformative education for everyone. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-2013 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. Find out how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at

Writer: Steve Martin, [email protected]

Source: Rahim Rahimi, [email protected]