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A plaster which sticks to the inside of your mouth is revolutionising the treatment of painful recurring ulcers.

Scientists from the University of Sheffield have developed a unique patch using special polymers which are able to stick to moist surfaces. The patch successfully administers steroids directly to oral ulcers or lesions whilst also creating a protective barrier around the affected area, accelerating the healing process.

The novel plaster is a breakthrough therapy for the treatment of mucosal conditions such as oral lichen planus (OLP) and recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), which are diseases that cause painful lesions and affect 1-2 percent of the population.

Until now, ulcers and lesions inside the mouth were treated using either creams or mouthwashes, which were used in the whole mouth rather than targeting the specific area, making them less effective. However, the biodegradable Rivelin patch has a long adhesion time and a high flexibility, which conforms to the surface inside the mouth.

Craig Murdoch, the lead author of the research, said: "Chronic inflammatory conditions such as OLP and RAS, which cause erosive and painful oral lesions, have a considerable impact on quality of life".
Murdoch added, "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."

"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.

"Patients who have trialed the patch found it to be very comfortable to wear and they were really pleased with the length of adhesion which makes it particularly effective and efficient", said Murdoch.

The findings of the research are published in the journal Biomaterials.


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