Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have developed a pen-shaped device that will help doctors administer drugs, especially vaccines, non-invasively and in a more efficient manner. Instead of injecting the drug, the device uses shock waves to transfer the drug into the patient, reports Sharadha Kalyanam.
Currently, shock waves are used to disintegrate kidney stones and, in angiogenic therapies, it is used to create new blood vessels from pre-existing ones.
Explaining about the functioning of the new device, Gopalan Jagadeesh, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IISc, who spearheaded the project, said the pen can produce shock waves that create a thrust causing the drug to flow as a very thin jet. “This jet will deliver the drug at a depth of just 160-200 microns into the skin as opposed to conventional needles that penetrate to 1 or 2 mm,” he said.
“There is no pain induced in this process because the nerve endings start only after 100 microns. Further, a small amount of drug injected at this depth is sufficient to provide resistance,” said Divya Prakash, a research student who is a part of the project at IISc. Read more