Microscopic STAR Particles Offer New Potential Treatment for Skin Diseases

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STAR particles are mixed into a therapeutic cream or gel and applied to the skin, painlessly creating micropores in the skin’s surface that dramatically – but temporarily – increase skin permeability to drugs. (Credit: Georgia Tech)

Georgia Tech Professor Mark Prausnitz and Postdoctoral Scholar Andrew Tadros hold samples of the STAR particles, which could potentially facilitate better treatment of skin diseases including psoriasis, warts, and certain types of skin cancer. (Credit: Candler Hobbs, Georgia Tech)

STAR particles are shown with a penny for size comparison. (Credit: Georgia Tech)

Skin diseases affect half of the world’s population, but many treatments are not effective, require frequent injections, or cause significant side effects. A new skin therapy could help address those issues. Using a skin cream infused with microscopic STAR particles and a therapeutic drug, the technique could facilitate better treatment of skin diseases including psoriasis, warts, and certain types of skin cancer. The particle-infused cream, from the same research team that has developed microneedle patches for drug delivery, has been tested on skin tumors in mice.