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KIMM to Commercialize Pain-free ‘DNA-coated Nano Microneedle Patches’ for the World’s First Time (July 30)

- ‘ADM Bio Science’, research-based spin-off company established


The technology for manufacturing ‘DNA-coated nano microneedle patches’ will be commercialized for the world’s first time. The microneedle patches deliver effective drug to skin without causing pain, by attaching DNA-coated microneedles to band-aids for applying to wounds.


On July 17, the Ministry of Science and ICT authorized the establishment of ADM Bio Science, a research-based spin-off for commercialization of DNA-coated nano microneedle patches developed by research team led by Dr. Joon-ho Jung of Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM).


DNA-coated nano microneedle patches attach micro-scale DNA needles made with 3D nanopatterning technology to skin, as to enable effective materials including drugs to be absorbed. This will result in creating a much more convenient environment for users as the patches are pain-free and safe, compared to the existing method of injection.


This technology has been developed thanks to support provided by ‘wave energy control research group’ (Director Haek-joo Lee) in global frontier project of MSIT as well as industrial technology development project (nano convergence sector) of MOTIE (Minister Paik Ungyu).


Dr. Joon-ho Jung was carrying out research in the areas of manufacturing and application in structure of extreme properties by taking part in the wave energy control research group’s project when he developed the technology. He developed the fabrication technology for DNA-coated nano-sized structures which are mechanically strong enough to deliver drug without causing pain, by penetrating into sclerite to reach inner skin and the structure dissolves easily inside the human body.


DNA-coated nano microneedle patches are manufactured in room temperature and do not require a separate chemical processing. The effective materials in DNA and needles are not changed or damaged chemically, so this gives the microneedle the merit of having high stability when delivered inside the human body.


In August 2017, the research outcomes were announced in the “Scientific Reports” which is a sister paper of Nature, a world-renowned journal, under the title of ‘Drug-Delivery System Based on Salmon DNA Nano- and Micro-Scale Structures’.


The paper was selected to be the top 100 most read papers out of more than 5,000 papers on chemistry published by Scientific Reports in the same year. Since then, a research-based spin-off was finally set up after going through preparation for commercialization for one year including establishment of manufacturing facilities.


Dr. Joon-ho Jung said, “in the case of advanced countries, vaccine technologies using microneedles are going through phase 2 clinical trials. However, there are a lot of issues to be solved before the final commercialization process. We will make sure to contribute to healthy lives of our citizens by solving issues of existing products with the adoption of DNA materials and achieving a successful commercialization in early stage.


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