You may not have heard of epicutaneous immunotherapy before, but this technique is likely to become much better known soon through the research work performed by French firm DBV Technologies (http://www.dbv-technologies.com).
Increasing numbers of individuals suffer from one or more allergy. Frequently-occuring allergies cover everything from nuts and eggs to shellfish.
DBV Technologies and its epicutaneous patch, Viaskin, now offer real hope for change for allergy sufferers.
The Viaskin patch is a simple adhesive patch worn on the skin. The crucial features of the patch are a titanium backing and a crown, which forms a condensation chamber with the skin.
The strategy underlying the Viaskin patch is actually quite a simple one. Using an electrospray, miniscule quantities of an allergen are sprayed upon the patch backing.The patch creates a 'condensation chamber' with the skin, solubilizing the allergen, enabling it to enter the body's most tolerogenic antigen presenting cells, the Langerhans cells, beginning the process of 'desensitizing' the body to said antigens.
If you're interested in finding out more about DBV-Technologies' food allergy treatment techniques, see this page.