Taking the needle out of injections

Researchers at two different campuses of the University of California are working on projects that would allow doctors to give injections without a shot.

A group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara led by chemical engineering professor Samir Mitragotri recently published a paper on their progress with chemical penetration enhancers (CPEs), designer molecules that absorb through the skin. So far, the group has devised 300 CPEs. CPEs help medicines get inside the body by navigating through the stratum corneum, that outer layer of dead cells and proteins that you show off every day.

Meanwhile, researchers from UC Berkeley earlier this month showed off the MicroJet, which blasts liquids out at 315 miles per hour via an electronic actuator. Other injectors, which do away with needles, are already on the market, but the MicroJet works better on the wide variety of skin textures. the university said.

"Another great feature of the MicroJet is that the diameter of the nozzle is only 70 microns, which is nearly three times smaller than the thinnest conventional hypodermic needles," said Marcio von Muhlen, one of the UC researchers, in a prepared statement.

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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