Sunday, September 22, 2013

New form of drug delivery patch inspired by beetle feet

Based on the adhesive abilities of beetle's feet, Chen-Yi Tsai and Cheng-Chung Change created a new drug delivery patch that has the ability to deliver birth control, treat burns, help with Parkinson's and hyperactivity, and also deliver nicotine. These transdermal patches are capable of reducing side effects such as stomach irritation and are also better at providing consistent drug levels in the body than oral and intravenous administration. After observing the beetle's feet, the scientists mimicked the Van der Waal's and capillary forces to create a micropillar patch that releases drugs in a controlled manner!

What's different about this patch is that it won't irritate the skin, can be used repeatedly, and is breathable unlike the current drug patches. This new invention is made out of biocompatible silicone materials that are breathable and reusable. Although the adhesive properties are strong, the patch is still easy to remove and can release different anti-inflammatory drugs for several days. More tests still need to be done, but hopefully this new development will be out in stores soon!


C-Y Tsai and C-C Chang, J. Mater. Chem. B., 2013, DOI: 10.1039/c3tb20735h


  1. Hey Jennifer,
    I found this post very interesting. I've never even wondered what was on the bottom of beetles feet before! These pads could be revolutionary in our everyday chemical intake. I've heard of patches to cure seasickness before but I don't believe that's quite the same thing. I find it really interesting that the pads are reusable and breathable. I also wonder what anti-inflammatory patches will be coming out soon, I wonder if there will be some for headaches.

  2. This is a very intriguing post. Do you know how the procedure of using the beetle's feet is performed and converted to medicine? Also, what type of beetles are these and where are they found?

  3. What type of beetle is it? I think it is very interesting that such an advantageous patch could be created using the beetle's feet. I wonder how much longer before this great discovery is out in the stores for people to take advantage of.