Scientists have developed a revolutionary patch that provides drugs through dozens of tiny painless injections, a development that could spell the end of needle phobia.
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology, U.S., claim it is the perfect invention for those with a fear of needles. The stamp-sized “microneedle” patches have the potential to replace traditional jabs and make it more effective, and less painful.
“It’s our goal to get rid of the need for hypodermic needles in many cases and replace them with a patch that can be painlessly and simply applied by a patient,” said Dr. Mark Prausnitz, who heads the research team.
Each patch carries an array of tiny needles just a few hundred microns long, equivalent to the width of a few strands of hair. Coated with medicine, it reaches far enough through the skin to deliver the drug but not deep enough to hit the nerves that cause pain.
According to researchers, the patch could be especially useful for eye treatments that require injection into the eye — something that would be relatively simple by using one of the patches.
In effect, the new prickly skin patch could make hypodermic needles a thing of the past, revealed scientists at the American Chemical Society conference. Having successfully carried out tests on mice, they hope to begin human trials next year.