Skin deep

A team of US researchers has designed a pulsed microjet system engineered to deliver protein drugs into the skin without the pain or bruising that deeper penetration injection systems cause.


A team of US sceintists has designed a pulsed microjet system engineered to deliver protein drugs into the skin without the pain or bruising that deeper penetration injection systems cause.



The research was carried out by UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers, in collaboration with colleagues from UC Berkeley and California-based StrataGent Life Sciences.



The effort to create needle-free drug delivery systems is driven by a combination of factors, including needle phobia, pain and discomfort, infections, and accidental needle sticks to healthcare providers. Currently, about 12 billion needle injections are performed every year for the delivery of vaccines and protein therapeutics. Consequently, needle-free delivery of vaccines has recently been identified as one of the significant emerging challenges in global health.



The researchers felt that the pain and bruising caused by previously developed jet injectors was caused by the deep penetration of jets into the skin, creating negative reactions of nerves and capillaries. The pulsed mircrojets they engineered combine a velocity of more than 100 metres per second with jet diameters between 50 and 100 micrometers, delivering just 2 to 15 nanolitres of liquid drug at a time.



The research showed that the pulsed microjet system could be used to effectively deliver drugs for local and systemic applications without using needles.