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Microneedles

The intestinal worm Pomphorhynchus laevis has provided the inspiration for a new system of...

You’ve gotta love those Pomphorhynchus laevis worms. Although the parasites may feed on fish by attaching themselves to the inside of the host animal’s intestines, they’ve also provided the inspiration for a new system of keeping skin grafts secured over wound sites.  Read More

Scientists have used microneedle arrays to store a live vaccine at room temperature, and a...

While it’s vitally important to bring vaccines for diseases such as tuberculosis to developing nations, getting them there is only part of the challenge. Because these countries often have unreliable infrastructures, it’s entirely possible that the vaccines can’t consistently be kept as cold as is required. As a result, they could be rendered ineffective. Now, however, scientists from King’s College London have succeeded in containing a dried live vaccine in a microneedle array, that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  Read More

A microscope image of NC State's nanofiber-studded silicone

For several years now, scientists have been exploring the use of patches of arrayed microneedles as a means of “injecting” medication through the skin. Researchers at North Carolina State University are now working on something similar, but at a much smaller scale – they're developing tiny needle-covered balloons, to deliver medication to individual cells.  Read More

New technology may allow transdermal patches to pump out medication by harnessing the wear...

Transdermal patches are currently used for the controlled release of medication, as long as that medication is made up of molecules that are small enough to be absorbed through the wearer’s skin. For solutions with larger molecules, scientists are looking into the use of patches incorporating arrays of skin-piercing microneedles. In many of these cases, however, the patches would require some sort of tiny battery-operated pump, to push the medication through the needles. Now, researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University have developed what could be an alternative – microneedle patches that use the wearer’s own body heat to deliver the drugs.  Read More

The microneedles are a more efficient and less traumatic tool for delivering therapeutic d...

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Atlanta's Emory University have developed microneedles less than a millimeter in length that can deliver drug molecules and particles to the region in the back of eye. The new technology provides an alternative to current methods which are either invasive, with drugs being injected into the center of the eye, or based on eyedrops, which are limited in their effectiveness.  Read More

Scientists have created microneedles made from silk, which are said to offer several advan...

Microneedles continue to show promise as a replacement – in at least some applications – for the hypodermic needle. Typically, a sheet containing an array of the tiny needles is adhered to the patient’s skin, like a bandage. The microneedles painlessly pierce the top layer of skin, then gradually deliver the medication within them by harmlessly dissolving into the patient’s bloodstream. As an added bonus, once everything is complete, there are no bio-hazardous used needles to dispose of. Now, bioengineers from Massachusetts’ Tufts University have developed what they claim is an even better type of microneedle, which is made from silk.  Read More

Hollow microneedles open the door to new techniques for diagnosing and treating a variety ...

A research team at North Carolina State University has created incredibly small microneedles to be used in the treatment of medical conditions by inserting nanoscale dyes called quantum dots into the skin. This new procedure could advance a doctor’s ability to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including skin cancer.  Read More

Dissolving microneedle vaccines: cheaper, less painful, less dangerous and more effective ...

Doctors have been using hypodermic needles for more than 150 years – but syringe vaccinations could be just about to be replaced by a simple patch you can stick on your arm with no medical supervision. The microneedle patches have an array of microscopic needles on them that penetrate the skin just deep enough to dissolve and deliver a vaccine without causing any pain. There's no sharp hazardous waste left over, they're no more expensive than a syringe, and most importantly, tests on mice are showing that microneedle vaccinations are significantly longer-lasting than deeper injections delivered by syringe.  Read More

Easy-to-produce plastic microneedles offer pain-free injections

August 19, 2008 Singapore’s A*STAR continues to put the country on the technology map, this time with the news that the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) has perfected an innovative range of microneedles that can be mass produced more readily and at a much lower cost than current microneedle technologies. The microneedles can be made from plastics as well as conventional materials such as silicon and metal and offer unique structures for better drug delivery. Microneedles are a fraction of the size of hypodermic needles and hence can penetrate the skin enough to deliver the medicine (or extract bodily fluids) but miss the nerve receptors so they induce no pain. Combined with the appropriate electronics, they can be worn as a skin patch, for regular doses of drugs to be delivered automatically to patients.  Read More

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