Scientists have developed a novel biodegradable patch that acts as a plaster and sticks inside the mouth, thus helping in the treatment of oral ulcers. The unique patch, able to stick to moist surfaces, successfully administers steroids directly to oral ulcers or lesions whilst also creating a protective barrier around the affected area, thus accelerating the healing process. The plaster has a long adhesion time and a high flexibility which conforms to the surface inside the mouth, the researchers said.
“The patch acts like a plaster inside your mouth, which means it is very effective at directly targeting the specific area as well as forming a protective barrier,” said lead author Craig Murdoch from the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry.
Current treatments consist of using steroids in the form of mouthwashes, creams or ointments, but these are often ineffective due to inadequate drug contact times with the lesion.
However, the new plaster can help in the treatment of mucosal conditions such as oral lichen planus (OLP) — an inflammatory condition which affects mucous membranes inside the mouth and causes painful lesions — and recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), a condition of shallow sores inside the mouth.
“Chronic inflammatory conditions such as OLP and RAS, which cause erosive and painful oral lesions, have a considerable impact on quality of life,” Murdoch explained.
In the study, published in the journal Biomaterials, the team conducted a pre-clinical trial on a small number of individuals.
“Patients found it very comfortable to wear and were really pleased with the length of adhesion which makes it particularly effective and efficient,” Murdoch noted.