PenJet Corporation, a Santa Monica, CA based medical device company, has been awarded a US Patent for a simplified, gas-powered, needle-less injector, with close to as few parts as a conventional disposable syringe.
The injector, called the ‘PenJet’, will cost about a dollar when produced in large quantities, according to the company.
Made of high impact plastic, the device is half the size of a conventional fountain pen and is designed to be prepackaged and shipped with a single dose of medication stored inside it.
The US Patent (No. 6,447,475) itself covers PenJet’s gas-charged metal canister with inline barrel valve that reduces the number of parts, simplifies assembly and assures a consistent injection. In addition, the patent depicts its distinctive design that has integral finger sets, giving it both a familiar syringe-like appearance and functionality.
To administer a needle-less injection with a PenJet, a protective cap and safety ring that avoids accidental triggering is removed, the nozzle is placed against a suitable injection site, such as the upper arm, thigh or stomach, and the PenJet administers the injection when gently pressed like a conventional syringe. The patient experiences minimal sensation and no noise when the injection is given. After use, the PenJet can be safely discarded or recycled into non medical devices, since it has no needle and has no medication or vaccine left in it.
A similar needle-less injection device, dubbed the Intraject syringe, is under development at Weston Medical in conjunction with researchers at Cambridge University in the UK. This device uses a compact source of nitrogen to propel a pre-measured quantity of drug through the skin into the underlying tissue. The syringe squirts a very fine jet of liquid at a pressure great enough to penetrate the skin, and the process takes less than 60 milliseconds.