You may not have heard of epicutaneous immunotherapy before, but this technique is likely to become much better known soon through the research work performed by French firm DBV Technologies (http://www.dbv-technologies.com).
Increasing numbers of individuals suffer from one or more allergy. Widespread allergies include foods such as egg, milk and peanuts.
DBV Technologies andViaskin could well be the names on everybody’s lips if this new technology is as effective as tests suggest.
At its most basic, Viaskin comprises a patch that’s placed on the patient’s arm. The principal elements of the patch are made up of its adhesive crown next to the skin and a titanium backing.
The idea behind this epicutaneous patch is relatively straightforward. An antigen is sprayed onto the patch using electrospray technology. This creates an even layer of dry antigens.The patch creates a ‘condensation chamber’ with the skin, solubilizing the allergen, enabling it to enter the body’s most tolerogenic antigen presenting cells, the Langerhans cells, beginning the process of ‘desensitizing’ the body to said antigens.
This method is being trialled in various versions, including Viaskin egg.