DBV-Technologies (www.dbv-technologies.com/en) is a medical firm based in the greater Paris region which has been researching and developing an exciting new technique that could have major implications for food allergy diagnosis and treatment. The Viaskin patch is an epicutaneous adhesive patch that is being developed in several different versions: egg, cows’ milk protein and peanut.
More information about the epicutaneous approach can be found on the relevant page on the company’s website at http://www.dbv-technologies.com/en/epit, but in short, this technique stands in contrast to more invasive and potentially risky immunotherapy methods, like injecting allergens directly into the patient. Central to producing this particular solution is an array of sophisticated equipment, some of which is shown below. One of the most important elements involved in the production of Viaskin patches is the electrospray, which sprays an electrically-charged stream of antigens onto the titanium patch backing. This technique means the layer of antigens is evenly spread, helps eliminate waste and ensures the chemical properties of the substance are retained. Once placed on the skin, the allergens start to pass through the upper epidermis and into the patient’s body.