Numerous companies have been striving to find a silver bullet for the vexed issue of allergies for years now. At long last, one of these firms, DBV-Technologies (http://www.dbv-technologies.com/en/) has developed a solution that may offer chances of a real breakthrough.
At the centre of all the excitement is the Viaskin® patch, more details about which may be found here. This small adhesive patch contains minute quantities of an active compound in powder form – the allergen to which the individual wearing the patch is allergic. This compound is spread in even layers across the patch thanks to an electrospray (illustrated below). The electrically-charged nature of the particles sprayed onto the patch means that when they dry, they remain securely stuck to the patch’s backing. A condensation chamber effect with the skin hydrates the epidermis and facilitates penetration of the skin and access to the tolerogenic Langerhans cells. Thus begins the process of tolerization or desensitization – an approach that is safer than direct injections of antigens into the bloodstream and entirely painless. This makes the Viaskin® method an especially interesting proposition when it comes to treating babies and children.