Novel drug-loaded patches for the treatment of nail diseases

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Nail diseases are common and require treatment. For example, nail fungal infections, affect up to 40% of the population, are more common in the elderly, immunosuppressed and diabetics and can significantly affect the quality of life of sufferers. For example, walking is painful due to diseased toenails, and unsightly nails inhibit social interactions and work. The main treatment regimen for fungal infections - oral therapy with antifungals - suffers from serious drawbacks such as liver toxicity. Another common nail disease, psoriasis, is treated with repeated and extremely painful injections of the drug into the skin surrounding the nail. Effective topical therapy could replace or complement the current treatments and thereby lead to elimination/reduction of the adverse effects of oral/injected therapies. Unfortunately, the existing topical products for fungal infections have shown limited success, and no topical products have been licensed for nail psoriasis. Research into the topical therapy of nail diseases is therefore essential to address this unmet clinical need. We propose to investigate patches as drug carriers for the topical treatment of nail diseases. Following application to the nail plate, the patch would remain at the disease site and continuously release drug for long durations. This non-invasive method of delivery is expected to be popular with patients. Patches are already commercially available for application to the skin. However due to the differences between the drugs, and between the skin and the nail surfaces, skin patches cannot simply be loaded with drugs for nail diseases. Nail patches have to be formulated from scratch. Our aim is to develop a method for the rational design of drug-loaded nail patches. By investigating the underpinning science, and by exploiting our combined expertise in engineering, modelling, and drug delivery, and the facilities at our two institutions, we will develop a scientific method to formulate nail patches which will be universally applicable to a range of diseases and drugs. Thus, the proposed work is fundamentally different from those described in the scarce literature on nail patches, where the latter have only been used as a convenient vehicle, or where the influence of important patch components on patch efficacy was tested in an empirical manner. We will use a combination of theoretical, experimental and modelling methods to: i) identify the correct patch components, such as the adhesive, backing membrane, solvents, ii) formulate drug-loaded nail patches, and iii) evaluate the formulated patches in terms of adhesion to the nail plate, effects on nail plate hydration, drug transfer into the nail plate, and subsequent drug action against the disease. Theoretical concepts such as solubility parameter, and finite element analysis and cohesive zone models will be used to select the correct parameters, reduce the number of required experiments, and ultimately provide some ready-to-use tools. Assessment of the efficacy of the formulated patch against a nail disorder will indicate the success of the developed methodology. To enable the testing of patch efficacy, fungal infection is chosen as the nail disorder, and the anti-fungal drugs, terbinafine and amorolfine will be used in this work. Use of two drugs will give an indication of the robustness and universality of the developed methods.

Publications

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Title Peel data 
Description Rheological / Adhesive data for acrylic based Pressure Sensitive Adhesives 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Data can be used by other teams working on such materials 
 
Title Peel model 
Description Developed method for calibrating cohesive zone model; used in finite element model of peel problem 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact What parameters to use in Cohesive Zone models for interface failures has been a question for many years; we put forward a suggestion as to how to achieve this. 
 
Description Imperial Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Work will be presented as part of a Mechanics of Materials display and demonstrations run in May 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.imperial.ac.uk/be-inspired/festival/
 
Description Imperial Festival 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Imperial Festival is an annual event which showcases Imperial's research with the aim to inform the general public of important advancements made in our field. It also aims to inspire future generations to pursue a career in STEM. We demonstrated and talked about the importance of cracks in previous works of art and how our research aims to advise museums and conservators on their safe storage and display for future generations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Membership appointment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Appointed member of Committee of the British Society of Rheology . Awarding Body - Bristish Society of Rheology, Name of Scheme - Commitee member
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Outreach 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Imperial Festival 2017 was held on 5- 7 May 2017 was a highly successful event. Its aim was to make a considerable contribution towards societal
engagement at Imperial. It attracted tens of thousands of crowds and was attended by children and adults alike. The work arising from this funded project was showcased in order to show the relevance of engineering on the design of pharmaceutical patches and on conservation of art paintings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.imperial.ac.uk/festival/feedback/