Bras that treat breast cancer
A British student, Sarah Da Costa, has created the Foxleaf Bra, a bra that releases anti-cancer drugs directly into the body.
The revolutionary garment contains tamoxifen in tiny micro-capsules in soft inserts inside the bra. Body heat and sweat, as well as continuous friction between the skin and fabric, rupture the particles and release the right amount of medicine, which is gradually absorbed by the skin throughout the day. It’s a simple and effective treatment that could potentially reduce the drug’s unpleasant side effects such as hot flashes, nausea and stomach cramps. Applying the drug locally also prevents strain on the liver, a problem with oral therapies. Da Costa’s next project is to see if a similar technology could be used to deliver dementia drugs via bed sheets or through clothing.
As it is written on the site of Materialfutures.com, where the idea is presented :
Can we engineer therapeutic properties to soft surfaces for disease prevention?
Exploring the current bio-technology of ‘microencapsulation’, or rather, the embedding of a drug within a textile, I am interested in how soft surfaces could be used as an alternative to existing, conventional modes of drug delivery for disease prevention.
Working closely with Dr. Ipsita Roy, UK Reader of Microbial Biotechnology at the University of Westminster, I have developed a bra for young women prone to developing breast cancer that has the drug Tamoxifen micro-encapsulated within it.
By developing a bio-polymer and embedding it within a bra, it is now possible to deliver the effective drug Tamoxifen through skin contact, which not only enables us to deliver the treatment at the core site, but also help young women avoid the traumatic side effects of the drug when taken orally.