Sön 14 jul / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

Nanotechnology Improves Transdermal Drug Delivery

Today, there’s a trend of medtech and biotech merging with the semiconductor industry. Nanotechnology, and perhaps more specifically nanoimprint lithography, is becoming increasingly important for life science applications. For example, in new drug delivery concepts, which Obducat works with together with their customer Kimberly Clark.

Originating in the semiconductor industry, Obducat’s key technologies enable advanced micro- and nano- patterning of surfaces through Nano Imprint Lithography (NIL), while greatly reducing the overall costs traditionally associated with lithography.
”In our solution, the master stamp is replicated into a soft intermediate polymer stamp that transfers the structures into the target substrate by pressing the surfaces together with compressed air. The substrates can be flat,concave or convex depending on application. The technology is the most cost-efficient solution on the market,” says Patrik Lundström, CEO of Obducat AB.

Mimics Skin Structure
In 2010, Obducat started to collaborate with Kimberly Clark, a work that’s resulted in the Sofusa Technology Platform. The concept idea behind Sofusa is to mimic the skin’s structure on the surface of the micro needles used for delivering drugs transdermally. By doing this the skin behaves as if the micro needles are actually made of skin. In this way, the skin’s pores remain open to the drug being delivered for a longer time-period.
”We’ve developed a way to replicate a pattern of dots in the size of 100 nano metres, which resembles the structure of the skin, into an FDA approved polymer material. We then use our softpress technology to cover the micro-needles with this patterned polymer film, which tricks the skin not to close its pores, thereby prolonging the drug delivery effect,” Patrik Lundström explains.
So far, two platform development projects have reached clinical phase I/II (PK), one for the indication of rheumatoid arthritis and one for acute migraine.
”In rheumatoid arthritis, the total treatment costs may be significantly reduced since the drug can be delivered in smaller doses, which means that patients don’t need to be given the medicine under supervision at a hospital. Instead, they can administer it themselves. For acute migraine, the greatest advantage is the speed by which the drug is delivered. It has turned out that biopharmaceuticals work particularly well with this distribution method,” he comments.

Smart Glucose Sensors
Apart from the Sofusa platform, Obducat is engaged in projects for reducing sample volumes and increase sensitivity in biomedical and biochemical sensors.

”This could improve the accuracy of many diagnostic applications. One example is a 30 nano metre sized puck, coated with a material that selectively only sticks to cancerous cells, for detecting prostate cancer in an early stage. It’s also possible to discern which type of prostate cancer that’s been detected, which makes it easier to apply the most effective treatment.”
Another example is smarter glucose monitoring sensors that can measure the trend of the glucose level and predict in which direction it’s going in order to control the insulin level over time.
Obducat’s headquarter is located in Lund. But the company is also established in Germany, China, Japan and Hong Kong.