"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. 

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Posted by Anonymous on 13 September 2009


Posted by Anonymous on 15 September 2009

Being a Type 1 Diabetic for almost my entire life span; I am growing weary of these schemes for people to be rich over other peoples misfortune.

I don't care about patches, pumps or whatever else. I want the CURE.

For goodness sake we are in the 21st century this is not normal that a cure has yet to be discovered. The same goes for Cancer.

I just read in a magazine where scientists admit that in theory a cure for Type 1 is possible.

So enough with the theory and new treatments nonsense and show us positive results for a CURE FOR TYPE 1 JUVENILE DIABETES.

Lets face it folkes the above article is about this: $$$$$$$$$+ instead of ($)CURE (where you only pay once).

Posted by Anonymous on 18 September 2009

"adherence to drug dose schedules"
this must be referring to diseases other than diabetes. I don't know of any diabetics who don't take shots when needed. It is not optional as the consequences are felt immediately and long-term

Posted by Anonymous on 22 September 2009

I think that non-diabetics are much more "intimidated" by the though of injections than diabetics are. Because of this, there are numerous "solutions" offered to the problem. Having been a Type 1 for 33 years, I can assure you that the needle-pricks are the least of my concerns. The pain is so slight and transitory that I rarely even think of it. It's the constant, every-waking-moment concern in the back of my mind: "what is my blood glucose now? - is it on the way up or down? should I check now or wait until lunch time?" That's the problem for which we need a solution. Enough with the fancy new needle devices.

Posted by Biffster on 20 October 2009

What's the name of the company(s)? When do they expect it to be available?

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