"Needle Patch" Injection System Might Take the Pain Out of Shots

Applying a patch instead of getting a shot increases adherence to drug dosing schedules.

Sep 9, 2009

It's not on the market yet, but a patch composed of tiny needles, each the width of a few human hairs, could eventually replace hypodermic needles for most drug injections. Preliminary experiments with people with diabetes have shown that the patch can deliver insulin successfully and with less pain than a hypodermic.

The "micro-needle patch" uses dozens of extremely thin, short, drug-saturated needles to deliver medicine. The needles penetrate the skin far enough to reach capillaries, which then carry the drug throughout the body. Because the needles are so thin, they cause little or no pain during an injection-a crucial element in what researchers believe could become an extremely popular method of drug delivery.

Mark Prausnitz, a drug delivery expert at the Georgia Institute of Technology who has studied micro-needle patches, thinks that the patches, by removing the intimidating aspects of injections, will increase adherence to drug dose schedules among patients who must take shots.

Beyond that, Prausnitz sees the patches as giving people the ability to administer vaccines to themselves, which could increase the number of people getting vaccinations. And in the event of a pandemic, government agencies could simply mail micro-needle patches within days to virtually the entire country, eliminating the potential for hospitals to be inundated by crowds of vaccine seekers. 

An even more intriguing possibility, Prausnitz says, is that the patch could replace the monthly injection of medication into the back of the eye that people with macular degeneration currently endure. Instead, a painless micro-needle patch could be placed over the surface of the eye to deliver medication that would migrate through the eye to the retina. 

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Research, Syringes, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (5)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 5 comments - Sep 9, 2009

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.