Jet-injected drugs may mean the end of needles

Jet-injected drugs may mean the end of needles


Hello. I’m Professor Ian Hunter, and I run the Bioinstrumentation Lab here in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. I’m joined by my colleague, Dr. Cathy Hogan, and together, including the help from a number of very, very talented students and post-docs and others in the lab, we’ve created a very interesting new technology for drug delivery. What you’re watching is a simulation of drug delivery into the skin, in this case of a particulate, but not using a needle. We’re developing a system that eliminates the use of needles, and instead delivers drugs into tissue using a high-pressure stream right into the skin. In our lab, we’ve developed a prototype of a device that uses a highly controllable jet injector, and a computer interface that controls volume of drug delivered, and the velocity at which it moves. It can both inject into and aspirate from tissue. And we’re able to fire the drug out at almost the speed of sound, if we need to. The speed of sound in air is about 340 meters per second. It’s capable of pressurizing the drug up to as much as 100 megapascals, and we can do that in under a millisecond. So here you can see the heart of the Lorentz-force actuator, the heart of our actual technology: there’s a magnet in the center of the jet injector that’s surrounded by a coil of wire, and when we apply a current to the coil, we create a Lorentz force, that pushes this piston, which forces the drug out of the ampoule. This gives us a tremendous amount of control, depending on how much current we put in, so that, as you can see here, we can successfully deliver a wide variety of volumes of drug, at a wide variety of velocities, with a very low degree of error, something a needle can’t do. We can also change the velocity over the course of a single injection, so it breaches the skin at one velocity, and then disperses the drug at another. We accelerate the coil to the desired speed, hold it there for a defined time, and then decelerate to a lower velocity to disperse and absorb the drug into the tissue. So the drug comes out at this fine jet, about the same diameter as a mosquito proboscis, and, as many of you know, you don’t feel when the mosquito inserts its proboscis into your skin, because it’s so very narrow — our jet is of a similar diameter. We’ve also developed this device so that it can be used for delivery of drugs right through the eye and into the retina. We’ve succeeded in delivering drugs through the tympanic membrane in your ear, so we can deliver drugs to the middle and inner ear, and we’ve also done something that we think is pretty cool: we can take a drug in powdered form, put it in this device; the device, because of its very, very fast response, is able to vibrate that powder so it behaves like a liquid, and then we inject it into tissue, as though it was a liquid, even though it’s a powder.

100 thoughts on “Jet-injected drugs may mean the end of needles”

  1. Nicolas Donatelli

    My mother's friend in the military told me about this years ago. Apparently if not done correctly it can seriously gash your skin. Although it is still a revolutionary system.

  2. Интересно, что будет если неправильно настроят скорость впрыска. Например, для детской руки выберут скорость для старой жесткой задницы.

  3. they say tissue but can this be used for a vein… i don't know about you guys but 100% of the shots i had to take were in a vein.

  4. Except when it's not wanted. Say someone blackmails an athlete with this device. "Pay me 1 million dollars or you'll develop a sudden performance enhancing drug habit"? or how about, Chemical castration / infertility drugs administered on the sly to a members of a minority by a single crazy person?

    These are just quick poorly thought out examples but I think it's obvious that we can't ever assume a technology won't be exploited against it's intended design.

  5. PLEEEEEEEASE, let the hypospray replace needles SOON. It's so bloody obvious. Needles are pure evil and have always repulsed me, and I will never, ever, ever get another shot if there's even a 0.00001% chance of getting away without it. Every time a hypospray is used on Star Trek I think, "THAT'S how it should be done—duuuuuuhh." Get a move on it. Needles are the nastiest method possible. Orrrr, just create effective "oral vaccine" pills. Sheesh.

  6. oh well, since its out there lets make it very obvious.
    1. modern society supports fascination for abusive behaviors
    2. this is both a physical and psychological tazer
    3. these professors are accountable for bringing some knowledge to some masses
    4. this instrument needs to be regulated NOW

  7. Fair point.

    I mean there's already examples of what I posted being done (the castration atleast) by doctors who felt they were helping people. Namely people with genetic or mental disorders who they didn't want to see have children.

    So yeah, hurrah for humanity. 🙁

  8. Mh… HAve they reinvented the wheel or what?
    I would bet some doctor already used needle-less injection for me when I was like 10 or something!

  9. How could anyone dislike this? Incredible. Dry products… much longer shelf life! No contamination, also – a technological advance. impressive!

  10. geek it up: worlds leading to more of a startrek like future then anything else considering we now have hypo sprays and crew of people are building a 1:1 constellation class ( constitution? can't remember) ship XD

  11. Isn't it a bit dangerous too? I mean, what if some air bobbles are in the "needle", and it will get injected with the drug?

  12. WhitePeachBlossoms

    1960 Aaron Ismach invented and patented the Jet Injector medical device which was used for quick mass vaccination for smallpox and other diseases. Ismach was assisted by Dr. Abram Benenson in developing the Jet Injector Gun.
    1997 The USA Department of Defense, the jet injector's biggest user, announced that it would stop using it for mass vaccinations due to concerns about infection.
    SO..it's nothing new but its just a different and safer method.
    So, MIT doesn't fail.

  13. Hmm, seems a lot like a technology that a professor at my university tried to develop, Prof. Mark Kendall. He deemed it inappropriate, but the technology used here is slightly different. He's currently working on a different delivery system, check it out. aibn (.) uq (.) edu (.) au/no-needles-no-fear

  14. End of Needles? Only subdermal!!! Needle free was developed a long time ago and it's working and don't need electricity! Here you can see: injex.com

  15. I wouldn't be celebrating this is scary that means you can get injected anything thru there and you don't even feel it, that's scary.

  16. Not in the least. I believe I make complete sense. And that new 90% shorter needle I saw advertised on TV is one humongous step in the right direction.

  17. Traditional jet injectors used gas cartridges, and were electric or manually powered, this is magnetically powered, and can fire powders as well as liquids. I believe the first jet injections happened with a grease gun, on accident.

  18. All the best discoveries are made by accident.
    If you put a shiny metal case on the device it would be just like star trek

  19. You must be one of those drunken Catholic Irish, as you have snarked back to almost every comment on the page. A chip on your bloody shoulder from getting molested by the Monsignor. Go have another pint and keep your snark in the pub

  20. Cool video. Can't believe I've never heard about this technology before hope this replaces the good ol' needle. As long as drug addicts don't get hold of it lol

  21. I'm a medical assistant that uses a lot of needles in administering medications using various angles. How will this work for each angle and site e.g subcutaneous, intramuscular, and subdermal?

  22. Svarog Uaroslavovich

    .Русские сопротивляйтесь! Ставте дизлайк к этому видео!

  23. Oh wow, what an awesome invention! This will revolutionize the medical world.
    .
    What a pity someone already invented this, back in 1960
    You know… fifty five YEARS ago!?

  24. these injectors have been around for a long time now, they were decommissioned due to the possibility of splashback, however with a disposable tip this could be avoided, I suggest you read the jet injector Wikipedia page.

  25. What? This is new? My son's doctor…back in the early 90', in CA. had an air injector gun and asked my son if he wanted to try it out for the delivery of his routine vaccination…. He was "selling" it as "needle free" …and what kid would not think "heck yes!"….but I've never heard my son so shocked and screaming once it was "delivered". He was…maybe 10 years old?…. It was clearly far more painful than any needle ever was. He was not the type to freak out unless there was a good reason. Both of us left the office in shocked disbelief….. I'd really like to know what gives? Were there previous jet-injectors that were experimented with in the 90's? ….and if so, what's different about this version? ….and I would caution any parent who's minor child may be asked if he/she wants his/her shots delivered "needle free" without consulting and fully informing the parent first. And parents, I would decline, regardless and let adults make an informed decision about whether they themselves want to be guinea pigs. I used to be a lot more trusting of our whole health care system and thus, didn't see any problem with the idea at the time. Three seconds later, I wished I could take back that decision. about six years later, when my son was 16 years old, we noticed that his right upper arm (between elbow and shoulder) was about 1 1/2 inch shorter than his left upper arm. When looked into further, a "tumor" was found in his bone right there were the injection was given. Quite a coincidence, I think. The tumor was labeled an osteo-chondroma….which is a benign bone tumor. I can't help but think back to that air-jet injection and wonder if his growth plate was damaged in the process of it, causing the growth from it to create a bulge in the upper arm rather than lengthening the entire bone. Regardless of whether this was related, what's the point or jet injection, really? "Just because we can?"…..because there's money in cool new stufff?….Because nobody likes needles? (Trust me. They'd hate this more!) Is it really that hard to just use a needle? I think we've got the safety issues pretty well worked out at this point.

  26. jet injection sounds good bc of lack of needles, but its already been proven to be a failure. The US military used jet inoculators in the late 60s and 70s till soldiers contracted diseases bc of the lack of sterility of jet instruments and the giant air hole it craetd when penetrating the skin. They banned it and remains so to this day.

  27. This has already been around a while. When I enlisted in the military in 2008 I was administered my vaccines while in boot camp with a jet injector. They might have improved upon the original design, but I don't see anything groundbreaking if you ask me.

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