A new patch designed with small biodegradable needles able to penetrate the skin provides a more convenient and precise way to check for tuberculosis. Compared to the usual hypodermic needles, this patch is easier and much simpler to use, less painful, and has the potential to be more effective, especially where children, who fear needles, are concerned.
While using a hypodermic needle may result to a failed test if the needle is inserted at an incorrect angle or if the solution to check for the disease is injected too shallow or too deep into one’s skin, the patch, which uses micro-needles are guaranteed to deliver results.
Microneedles are actually the latest painless alternatives to hypodermic needles in injecting drugs into the body. These are made from synthetic polymers, metals and silicon and, recently, from natural, eco-friendly materials, like silk and chitin, which are taken from the hard outer shells of certain crustaceans and insects. The tips of these micro-needles are coated with protein derivative, which is actually a necessity when testing for tuberculosis.
Using the patch is just like using a bandage, which may be placed either on an arm or leg. Once applied, the tiny needles create small holes on the skin as the medicine coated on each needle is diffused into the body. With this patch millions of US residents who get a tuberculosis skin test will get the result they want fast and easy. This is also because the micro-needle test leaves a little room for user error.