Say Goodbye to Those Scary Shots

By Nechama Drillick

Will those stinging booster shots be a thing of the past, fading into oblivion together with walkmans, analog TV and Kodak film? With the advent of a new Band-aid-like painless patch lined with microneedles, our grandchildren may never know the ouch of a needle at an annual checkup.

Scientists have developed a patch that can simply be applied to a patient in place of using hypodermic needles, a big boon to diabetics and others suffering from diseases that require frequent pricks. This was presented at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C.

“If you can move to something that’s as easy to apply as a Band-Aid, you’ve now opened the door for people to self-administer their medicine without special training.” said Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Tech, one of the developers.

This development was enabled by advances in the electronics industry, which has microminimized all forms of technology – opening the door for the creation of needles that are only a few hundred microns long, about the width of a few strands of human hair.

Researchers are hopeful that the patch which will initially be used in a clinical setting could ultimately be self applied at home, replacing many other needle injections – even flu shots!

24. August 2009 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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