Needle-free injections enclose a wide range of drug delivery. It passes through the skin with the help of a force such as Lorentz, shock waves, pressure by a gas etc.
Needles are commonly seen as something evil, aren’t they? Many pain-free alternatives are in the works, like a micro-needle, patches, a laser-based device, etc.
A laser-based device thrust through the skin as micro-jets of liquid and a refined hypodermic design based on a mosquito’s proboscis. A pain-less jet-injection device has come forth from the development limbo with a commercialization deal.
Prime; a needle-less injection device:
Prime is a device born out of years of research at MIT. The technology verified that a company called portal instruments was oscillated out of the university for continuous work on it in 2012.
How does it work?
Instead of injecting a patient, Prime injects the drug painlessly. It delivers its drug in the form of liquid. First of all, the vessel of the desired drug is added to the device. Its size is of an electric razor. These single-use vessels are loaded with a range of biologics to supply the vaccine, insulin, and hormone.
To supervise the shot, a vessel is squeezed by the linear electromagnetic actuator. It pressurized the drug to get through the nozzle that is placed inside the skin. The drug exits the device at 200m (656 ft) per second as a raven of liquid, and it’s no thicker than a hair. This method is fast and painless. It supplies a 1ml dose in half a second.
The diabetic patient has to inject himself daily. So instead of needle injecting, they can use the pain-free injection. The process pain-free could increase adherence.
Classification of needle-free injection technology:
Based on functioning and working:
- Spring systems
- Energy propelled systems
- Lorentz force
- Gas propelled/air forced
Based on the type of load:
Based on the mechanism of drug delivery.
- Sandpaper assisted delivery
- Iontophoresis enabled
Based on site of delivery:
- Intramuscular injectors
- Subcutaneous injectors
Advantages of Needle-free Injections:
- Needle-free Injections Eliminate the needle phobia.
- Removal of broken needles.
- Less pain.
- Reduce stress.
- Less vaccine volume.
- Constant vaccine delivery.
- Boosts Patient conformity.
- Increases the vaccination rate.
- Greater dispersion pattern.
- Elimination of worker needle stick.
- Efficient use of the vaccine.
- No contamination.
- Greater drug diffusion.
- A classic approach for developing countries.
- Relief and cure to the patients that have been insulted many times in a day.
- Elimination of needle disposal.
Disadvantages of Needle-free Injections:
- The lack of worker confidence.
- Trained personnel.
- Wetness associated with residual vaccine on the skin surface.
- Greater start-up cost.
- Worker confidence in NFID.
- Greater requirements for training.
Adherence to treatment with the help of Needless injections
Some chronic diseases like Diabetes, Inflammatory bowel disease, etc., require multiple injections. This affects the adherence of patients to medications. So, the patients normally stop taking these medications because of the pain and anxiety associated with the needles.
Therefore, the introduction of needless injections can bring a big change. Patients will adhere to their treatment regimens, and hence it will help in the treatment of their diseases.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis,” says CEO Patrick Anquetil, Ph.D. ’04, who co-founded Portal with Hunter in 2012.
What can be administered through these needless injections?
- Hormone treatments
- Therapeutics for chronic diseases
The prospects of needle-less injections:
The future of this technology is encouraging to establish virtually pain-free and highly productive drug delivery. The major defect combined with this technology is post-administration “wetness” of the skin, which may be harbor dust and other outward impurities if not taken care of.
The technology is being backed up by organizations such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and various groups, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This technology is boosted to be favored for the pharma industry. Still, the developing world finds it highly useful in mass immunization programs, bypassing the chances of needle stick injuries and avoiding other complexities, including those stemming due to multiple uses of a single needle.