One of the most terrifying things about visiting the doctor is when they need to use long needles to inject liquids into the patient’s body. Not only is the experience painful, it can create a great deal of anxiety.
Knowing how extremely uncomfortable this process could be, scientists at Massachusetts-based Portal Instruments developed an alternative solution to syringe injections: an injector which can make fluid delivery into the body as painless as possible.
Prof Ian Hunter of MIT created a breakthrough technology which allows the injector to deliver a digitally controlled, needle-free rapid injection which is safe, reliable, and convenient. It works by having the injection administered through skin via a jet the size of a human hair.
Photos by Portal Instruments
In an interview with Medgadget, Portal Instruments CEO Patrick Anquetil said, “The core technology of the injector is a computer-controlled linear actuator that allows us to pressurize the drug and form a very fine jet with the drug.
”The jet exits the device at high speed (200 m/s – 450 mph) and creates enough pressure on the skin to gently pierce it. The control algorithm in the device allows us to control injection depth and fill the drug at that particular tissue location, ensuring optimal patient comfort,” he added.
The injector is unique in the world. It is the closed-loop feedback controlled needle-free drug delivery device and can perform a 1 mL needle-free injection needle-free. This is contrary to the legacy needle-free devices which can typically deliver 0.2 to 0.5 mL only.
Photo by Portal Instruments
Also, it has safety features enabled by the sensors and the ARM computer and sensors that are in the device. It also makes use of an app, but not completely necessary, only to augment the patient experience and to track the injection data in real time.
But one would dare to ask, “How painful is this compared to the long needles?”
Anquetil has participated as a subject in their clinical studies, and he said that it felt like a “small tickle.” He added that the injection is “ultra fast” because it takes only 0.3 seconds to inject the full 1 ml dose.
With the injector still in development, the company is working on making the device smaller. It is now bigger in size than a typical needle and syringe.