The DBV Technologies website showcases an exciting new development in the field of allergy treatment, courtesy of Paris-based company, DBV Technologies. This firm has created what they call the Viaskin patch.
This is an adhesive patch worn on the skin, which is designed to introduce very small quantities of allergens to patients’ bodies over a period of time with a view to ‘desensitizing’ them to the substances in question. You can click here to see how Viaskin patches can be used to diagnose or treat the common pediatric allergy of cows’ milk protein allergy.
In fact, all Viaskin patches work on the same basic principle. (There are also hen’s egg and peanut versions under development). Each patch contains tiny quantities of an allergen. When placed on the person’s skin, the allergen is dry, but the patient’s body heat creates moisture in the patch which solubilizes the allergen. In this liquid state, it is able to pass through the skin, where it quickly comes into contact with the Langerhans cells (shown in the image below). These are extremely tolerogenic cells, making them perfect for the purposes of tolerization.