In this study, we aimed to achieve an efficient repair of damaged skeletal muscles using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) soluble microneedle patches (MNP) loaded with carbonized wormwood and prostaglandin E2 (inflammatory factors). The introduction of carbonized wormwood imparted the MNP with near-infrared light heating characteristics that improved the efficiency of prostaglandin E2 delivery while also promoting circulation in the damaged muscle area.
Our experimental results showed that, compared with the classical moxibustion treatment, the system could more quickly restore muscle strength and the cross-sectional area of muscle bundle fibers in a mouse model of muscular injury. In addition, it could also successfully induce the proliferation and differentiation of muscle stem cells to effectively repair injured muscle tissues.
Above all, this light-controlled photothermal MN (microneedle) drug-delivery system avoided the common problems of traditional moxibustion such as large levels of smoke, slow efficacy and risk of scalding. Collectively, we put forward a safe, accurate and efficient approach for skeletal muscle damage treatment using carbonized wormwood.