Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Are laser-powered needles the key to pain-free injections?

Researchers at Seoul University, South Korea recently discovered that an erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (Er:Yag) may be the key to pain-free injections. The Er:Yag is able to deliver the medication without splash-back or absorbing the drug, both problems that other jet-based systems were faced with. 

The drug is delivered in liquid form through a small adaptor. It also contains a chamber filled with water, which is used as a 'driving fluid'. A flexible membrane is used to separate both the medication and water. Each laser pulse, which lasts just 250 millionths of a second, generates a vapor bubble inside the driving fluid. The pressure of that bubble puts elastic strain on the membrane, causing the drug to be forcefully ejected from a miniature nozzle in a narrow jet a mere 150 millionths of a meter (micrometers) in diameter. The laser is no larger than a human hair and the drug is delivered through a tiny stream below the skins surface. See a demonstration of how the the drug is delivered here.  

Want to learn more about the latest in drug delivery? At DDP, hundreds of pharmaceutical and drug delivery thought leaders come together to develop partnerships to create the next great product that will bring relief to millions of patients. Sign up for updates on the 17th Annual Drug Delivery Partnerships Conference taking place February 6-8, 2012, in San Diego, CA.

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