No More Needles: New Device Can Inject Variety of Drugs

MIT researchers have engineered a device that delivers a tiny, high-pressure jet of medicine through the skin without the use of a hypodermic needle. The device can be programmed to deliver a range of doses to various depths – an improvement over similar jet-injection systems that are now commercially available. The design is built around a mechanism called a Lorentz-force actuator – a small, powerful magnet surrounded by a coil of wire that's attached to a piston inside a drug ampoule. When current is applied, it interacts with the magnetic field to produce a force that pushes the piston forward, ejecting the drug at very high pressure and velocity out through the ampoule's nozzle – an opening as wide as a mosquito's proboscis. Jet-injected drugs could improve patient compliance and reduce accidental needle sticks.