The design of the hypodermic needle has changed little since 1853, when French surgeon Charles Gabriel Pravaz first attached a hollow, skinpiercing cylinder to a syringe. today, medical-device designers are using micro-scale materials to make the needles shorter and thinner, which makes for less painful shots.
Shots cause pain in two ways: a momentary pinch from piercing the skin and a muscular ache that can last for days. In May, the FDA approved a device that releases flu vaccine directly into the skin, avoiding the muscles (and the ache) altogether. The Fluzone Intradermal microinjector's needle is about a tenth as long as the needle on a regular syringe and the width of a human hair. And because there are more immune cells in skin than in muscle, doctors could use less vaccine per shot, which could decrease vaccine shortages. The device's manufacturer, medical company Sanofi Pasteur, says it will start shipping it in the U.S. this fall, just in time for flu season.
LOW PRESSURE PLUNGER
Mosquitoes use a combination of vibrating mouthparts, some smooth and some serrated, to discreetly extract blood. Engineers at Kansai University in Japan created a multipart needle that works like a mosquito's (possibly the only thing we have to admire about the murderous little buggers): three individually motorized 0.04-inch-long needles—a smooth one for drug delivery flanked by two jagged ones—vibrate while taking turns advancing into the skin. The mechanism requires less than a third of the pressure of a standard needle to penetrate silicone skin test samples. The engineers hypothesize that less pressure causes less skin damage, which could also mean less pain.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have developed a dissolving microneedle patch that could painlessly deliver drugs straight into the skin, leaving behind no sharp parts that could accidentally stick someone and spread disease. About 100 dissolvable, drug-loaded polymer microneedles (each about two hundredths of an inch long) fit on a Band-Aid-like patch the size of a quarter. The patch is easy to apply and can be stored at room temperature, making it particularly useful in poor countries where refrigeration is scarce and doctors may not be available to supervise injections. In clinical studies, the patch delivers drugs with almost no pain. A commercial version could be available in five years.
what ever happened to those "air delivery" shots? you know like you see on Star Trek TNG.
BUT I remember seeing REAL working versions 20 years ago! I have seen them here and there, but they never seemed to be widely accepted. I wonder why?
I understand you need a needle to extract blood, and some shots have to be given deep tissue. It seems though that the same time of shots that the ABOVE needles would be applicable for would also be suitable for the "air needles" or what ever they are called.
I even remember seeing a video where they "shoot" colored water through serane wrap (with the "air syringe" in a glass of water. you could turn the glass upside down and the hole it made was so small nothing would leak out.
(I LOVE THAT pic! where did you find that popsci? making that my background right now)
cool but we shudnt give these 2 death row people we shud give them pain needles wich are like covered in acid
In some situations a doctor has to give a shot and breathing air deliver systems are not practical. I am glad the medical science is trying to make the needles less painful. This is very cool!
@inaka_rob I tihnk it's called a hypospray. Also waiting on the triquarter.
@ALh self diagnosis in 30 sec woot woot
You realize that is the kind of thinking that gets you ON death row, right?
That microinjector is a thing of beauty. I'd love to have one just for display.
haha Killer T, good point. i think the micro needle patch could be used to give gloves really good grip, who agrees?
STAR TREK was a science fiction fantasy, hello.
I am glad our medical science lives in reality.
People need to drink a bowl of concrete and harden up, needles don't hurt that much, and you get them so rarely that they should be some of the memorable moments of your life.
dquad, i see you point and i even donate blood. But my heart goes out to those who receive constant medical care and have to be poke sometimes many times in one day. Dude, have a little heart for those who suffer.
- Becosmos, the Inventor of the cell phone got his idea from Star Trek. The spacecraft of tomorrow are being built from ideas from science fiction. Nanites (Robotic cells) used to be science fiction, but is now reality. Science fiction is becoming Science Fact.
I'm one of those people who get more then their fair share of needles. And, at my age its not a big deal. But necessity is the mother of invention. If someone can make a product better then more power to them.
It would also be great for kids. As well as the adults who pass on flu shots because they don't want to get a needle.
@becosmos do you actually read anything before you post? do you actually THINK before you post! "STAR TREK was a science fiction fantasy, hello.I am glad our medical science lives in reality."
dont be so F%%%%ING dense! I said an injector LIKE the one in star trek!!! as an example. the REAL one in REAL life actually came BEFORE STAR TREK!!!! 1960!!!!!!!!
I LOVE IT!!!! both my comments where reported! why? what a F%%%%ing joke!
did I hurt becosmos feelings? ohhhh. I am so sorry. cry to popsci mommy some more.
if you had ACTUALLY read my first comment before you talked smack about it, then you wouldn't look like such and idiot and feel the need to cry to mommy and report my perfectly VALID and on topic comment (my first one at least... and my 2nd one at least has links to back up my first)
at least I live in reality and not a the fictional world you live in.
Jet injectors definitely predate Star Trek. Got my smallpox vaccination with one about 50 years ago.
Posts don't get deleted simply because they're reported... the folks at PopSci decide which posts that are reported get deleted.
Star Trek uses TriCorders... not quarters, those are the domiciles people live in on the ship...
When I was in the Air Force from 1975 to 1981 they did use the air injection systems.
The main problems with them were that they were more expensive, less portable, and if you moved while they did the injection you would get a nice cut.
There nice advantage was if you needed to give a lot of people shots in a hurry, you could line them up and inject them in just a few seconds.
inaka -- I do remember the shot 'guns'. I got a lot of shots that way when I was in the Air Force.
However, if you continue to search the net, you will find that they were discontinued -- contamination or some such --I don't remember.
We were told that if you moved during the process, you would get ripped up a bit ( they used to do multiple shots simultaneously, which meant that there a lot of droplets penetrating the skin).
But, you should take a chill pill -- who cares about other commenters?
As for the original article, I have never minded most shots -- except this 'Gammagoblin'(sp?)stuff. I think that they used 1/4 inch wide SQUARE needles. Also, the stuff had the consistency of thick syrup. Left a lump in your lower cheek.
Patch could be a good deal if it is as rugged as described.
Oh and if I remember correctly they were painless, but so is a injection by someone that knows what they are doing with a sharp needle (and if you don't tense up).
BTW most of the "soreness" you feel later is from the the drugs themselves, and that is not going to change not matter how they inject you.
@rob "Cry to popsci mommmy" are you five?
@ becosmos ... science fiction drives science fact forward !!
I hope we find life, any where in outerspace. I look forward to exploring all the planets and many moons.
I meant to post the above comment some where else.
I am all forward to helping others with less painful shots.
Poor boy in the picture. I hope they gave him candy later.
Yeah to Star Trek bashers...the inventors of google were inspired by the computer on STNG. And 20 years later we're almost there with watson. Star trek may not be reality but it inspires the scientific minds of tomorrow.
awesome. and by the way science fiction, is the future science fact.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
@freh "rob "Cry to popsci mommmy" are you five?"
whats your %%%%ING problem.
this is the 2nd time you have talked smack about me and its doesn't make any sense becuase you dont even read my comment correctly. this is the 2nd time I have asked you to mind you own $$$$ING business!
another user didn't like that I had corrected him, so he reported my perfectly valid and on topic comments to popsci "LIKE HE WAS CRYING TO MOMMY" I was implaying HE was acting like a 5 year old. I really dont understand why that was so confusing for you to understand. I dont think any one else had a problem with.
@ford2go yeah thanks for the info. and $$$$ yeah I need a chill pill. I am going to take a break from even reading comments for a while. first it was bubba, then it was tomiko, now freh is talking $$$$ about me and it doesn't even make sense. Add in the off topic comments about god and religion (which are fine with me as long as they are not off topic which is 95% of the time here).
I love science and teaching science becuase science doesn't lie. Its just facts. sometimes theories. but at least those are based on research and empirical data. Yet even here on this science based website people manage to take something infallible and ruin it!
I used to hate all the lude and stupid jokes people would often make on this site, I would take those ANYDAY over the now oft closed minded and\or vain zealots that seem to populate these boards.
so yeah. I am going to try and take a break.
@ford2go I got 2 air injected shots about 2 years ago. They called it the air gun when I was at boot camp. It might not be the same thing you were talking about though. The weird thing is last week I got the "mist" where you sniff it up the nose like the saline spray! But that was Influenza vaccine.
And I got the PCN shot in the booty too!! They call it the peanut butter shot. Haha.
I was in the military right after they were trying to do trials on this air delivery method. In essence it typically works fine, but the reason they stopped is IF you jerk or twitch fast, it can rip and tear skin and muscle. You can't rely on people to stand still. You'd be surprised how many macho guys still go all crazy when it comes to needles, so even a 'painless' one may inhibit a reaction to jerk, thus causing more potential injury. I love that they are devising newer, safer, and less painful methods!
your a jerk i hope you are never aloud to use this and you get covered in acid to. The world would be a better place with out stupid comments like that.