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Afraid of needles? 'Jet-injected' drugs may have solution

Scientific researchers are developing a ‘jet-injector’ to get medicine to the right spot – by using pressure, rather than a puncture of the skin.

It might not look like much - but this prototype jet-injection device could lead to an end to needle injections...
It might not look like much - but this prototype jet-injection device could lead to an end to needle injections...
Image: MIT via Youtube.com

THOSE SCIENCE BOFFINS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been very inventive recently.

Earlier this week, TheJournal.ie reported how a team of researchers there had come up with a slippery, non-toxic, coating for the inside of ketchup bottles to allow the ketchup to flow smoothly onto your plate.

However, the latest prototype developed at the college may have even more significant applications than the, er, non-slip glass coating.

Professor Ian Hunter and Dr Cathy Hogan of the BioInstrumentation Lab have been developing a “jet-injection” device which could potentially deliver drugs as effectively, if not more so, than traditional needles.

The video below shows a simulation of how the device would work – essentially it delivers drugs using a high-pressure stream right into the skin. The prototype of the jet-injection device, when used with a computer interface, can control the volume of drug administered and the speed at which it is administered. Prof Hunter said: “We are able to fire the drug out almost at the speed of sound”. That’s 340 metres per second, if you’re interested.

He said that the jet is the diameter of the proboscis of a mosquito and they have even tested it on the delicate tympanum structure of the middle ear, and have managed to deliver drugs in this manner to a middle and inner ear.

Watch and learn (and hope it becomes a reality in the medical world soon):

(via MITNewsOffice/Youtube.com)

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