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Needleless Syringe Delivers Drugs Without Pain

Needleless Syringe Delivers Drugs Without Pain

A new needleless syringe delivers drugs using a supersonic jet stream of medicine…

MIT researchers have developed a new needless syringe, which administers drugs through the skin with a supersonic jet stream of medicine.

The prototype creates a jet stream, around the diameter of a mosquitoes proboscis, which penetrates the skin without pain. Mechanical engineer at MIT, and one of the devices inventors, Ian Hunter, explained:

“As many of you know, you don’t feel when the mosquito inserts its proboscis into your skin because it’s so very narrow.”

needleless syringe delivers drug with painless jet stream 550x259 Needleless Syringe Delivers Drugs Without Pain

Needleless Syringe

Although needleless syringes have been around for a few years, Hunter and his colleagues design can be fine-tuned to control the depth and speed of drug delivery.

A shot can start with a high pressure blast to penetrate the skin, but can then be scaled back to deliver the drug in a slower stream. It can also be programmed to suit different types of skin – a baby requiring a vaccine for whooping cough for example.

The team also reports that the device can safely deliver drugs through the eye, and into the inner ear. And if that wasn’t enough technology, it can also vibrate, which causes powered drugs to behave like liquids – an added bonus for parts of the world that lack the refrigeration required to store many liquid drugs.

The devices owes its precision to a mechanism called a Lorentz-force actuator. MIT described the device as:

“A small, powerful magnet surrounded by a coil of wire that’s attached to a piston inside a drug ampoule. When current is applied, it interacts with the magnetic field to produce a force that pushes the piston forward, ejecting the drug at very high pressure and velocity. … The speed of the coil and the velocity imparted to the drug can be controlled by the amount of current applied.” [MIT]


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  1. John Roach: Afraid of needles? Futuristic syringe doesn’t need them. MSNBC, May 2012.

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