Keloids: Using Drug-Eluting Microneedles To Allow Self Treatment Interview with
Chenjie Xu PhD
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore 637457

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: Keloid is a long-term dermatological scarring disease characterized by disfiguring lesions resulting from overgrowth of dense fibrous tissue. It is also unsightly and can even lead to disfigurement and psychological problems of affected patients. This study investigated the use of microneedle technology in the self-management of keloid lesions. Briefly, we have developed a “wearable” microneedle device for transdermal delivery of an anti-metabolite drug (5-FU) to inhibit the proliferation activity of keloid fibroblast. This study has provided evidence for effective inhibition of keloid fibroblasts in vitro and successful translation of this platform can significantly reduce the cost of keloid treatment and improve the patient compliance.

MedicalResearch: More specifically, the major findings in this study are:

1.            Demonstrated feasibility of generating a cost-effective, self-administered microneedle device for the delivery of anti-fibrosis therapeutic, 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).

2.            Demonstrated successful delivery of (5-FU).

3.            Demonstrated feasibility of its application to Keloid scars.

4.            Demonstrated 5-FU sustained release kinetics.

5.            Discovered that microneedle delivery can inhibit keloid fibroblast growth.

6.            Demonstrated a rapid, photo-activated fabrication of microneedle devices with encapsulated 5-FU.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

1.            A cost-effective, self-administered microneedle device could dramatically alter the traditional modalities of scar treatments. Instead of periodic injections that can cause severe pain and are costly and disruptive to a patient’s schedule, the microneedle intervention is self-administered, effective and extremely low-cost.

2.            We hope this will be a novel single modality therapeutic for scar treatment, which can greatly benefit the healthcare community and the affected patients, given the lack of good alternatives.

MedicalResearch:  What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: PEG-DA is a bit fragile. A better biocompatible polymer is desirable.

Peng Xue, David Chen Loong Yeo, Yon Jin Chuah, Hong Liang Tey, Yuejun Kang, Chenjie Xu. Drug-eluting microneedles for self-administered treatment of keloids. TECHNOLOGY, 2014; 02 (02): 144 DOI: 10.1142/S2339547814500137