2, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, United States
Collagen is the main source of extracellular support, as it behaves like a binding agent in the human body. It holds the cells together and increases elasticity of the skin. The skin cannot absorb the collagen as most molecules are too big, so getting them through the outer layers of the skin is critical. Collagen microneedle patches have been developed with micro-manufacturing process (micro-molding). The collagen microneedles, varying in length from 300 to 600 μm reach different targeted layers of the skin depending on the application. As the microneedles penetrate the top most layers of the skin (Stratum Corneum), they dissolve, delivering collagen through the epidermis and dermis. Such addition of collagen directly to the epidermis and dermis layers allows collagen to be absorbed, increasing the skin’s strength and resilience, since it is one of the natural components of younger skin. This process of collagen delivery system is painless, hygienic and easy to use. The research includes the preparation of microneedles with the modification of various parameters such as concentrations, microneedle height, pressure, time, and also the optimization of the process of the microneedle patch construction. Further research will include penetration studies, rate of delivery and the effects of the collagen microneedles on the skin. There is future scope of using other drugs such as nicotine, BOTOX and many other pharmaceutical drugs along or without collagen.