Are you worried about the impact that allergies are having on your life, or the life of a loved one? Well, French company DBV-Technologies (DBV Technologies.com), based in the greater Paris region, has been working on a new way of tackling a number of widespread allergies. The Viaskin Platform is an epicutaneous (in other words, skin-based) approach to allergies as varied as cows’ milk protein, egg, house dust mite and peanut.
Rather than involving injections or drops or tablets, it takes the form of an adhesive patch which is worn directly on the patient’s skin. Although this sounds like a very simple method, it actually requires highly-sophisticated technology to make it work. At the heart of the Viaskin patch manufacturing process is the electrospray (see below). This sends out a liquid spray of electrically-charged proteins to coat the outer layer of the patch. These proteins are in fact allergens. When applied to the skin, the patch creates a kind of condensation effect which re-solubilizes the dry protein layer, enabling the allergens to enter the body through the skin and slowly start the tolerization process.