Ceramic hybrid needles take the sting out of shots

January 7, 2008

New polymerization technology may one day take the pain out of injections and blood draws. A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina and Laser Zentrum Hannover have recently used two-photon polymerization to create hollow needles so fine patients wouldn’t feel them piercing their skin. Clustered together on a patch, these microneedles can deliver drugs or draw blood efficiently as standard hypodermic needles. These findings are reported in the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology.

Developing a way to deliver drugs intravenously with minimal pain and trauma, by someone without medical expertise, has long been a mission of biomedical engineers. Until recently, their most promising product had been stainless steel and titanium microneedles. These metal microneedles, though, are prone to break on impact with skin.

Researchers led by Roger Narayan, MD, PhD, of the University of North Carolina , used two-photon polymerization of organically modified ceramic (Ormocer®) hybrid materials to create microneedles resistant to breakage. Another benefit of the hybrid needles is that they can be made in a wider range of sizes than those made with conventional microfabrication techniques.

The first patients Narayan imagines will benefit from his technique are those who require frequent injections or blood monitoring.

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: Preliminary Zika vaccines prevent neurological disorders in newborn mice

Related Stories

How do microneedles deliver drugs?

October 11, 2013

It's been quite a couple of years for Dr Ryan Donnelly from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), who this week speaks at the BioIndustry Association (BIA) UK Bioscience Forum. At the forum he'll be ...

Microneedles enhance drug administration through skin

February 4, 2008

In what is believed to be the first peer-reviewed study of its kind involving human subjects, researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that patches ...

Microneedles Could Replace Syringe

March 10, 2008

The common needle phobia and painful injections could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a revolutionary new drug-delivery technique developed by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US. The long-practiced method ...

Recommended for you

Dutch unveil giant vacuum to clean outside air

October 25, 2016

Dutch inventors Tuesday unveiled what they called the world's first giant outside air vacuum cleaner—a large purifying system intended to filter out toxic tiny particles from the atmosphere surrounding the machine.

For the first time, magnets are be made with a 3-D printer

October 25, 2016

Today, manufacturing strong magnets is no problem from a technical perspective. It is, however, difficult to produce a permanent magnet with a magnetic field of a specific pre-determined shape. That is, until now, thanks ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.