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Surprising Science

Injections At Supersonic Speed, Without Needles

Alternatives to needle injections have been sought after for many years, and the results have had varying degrees of success. A team of scientists think they've come up with a solution.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What’s the Latest Development?

Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands say they’ve come up with a method of drug injection that may be a viable alternative to needles. With the help of a laser pulse, tiny shockwaves expel a microjet of liquid at a speed of up to 2000 miles per hour — about as fast as a supersonic jet — easily penetrating the skin and delivering a precise amount into the body. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Needles are by far the preferred method of injecting drugs, but they have their downsides, including possible disease transmission. Various alternatives have been developed and used over the years, many of which involve the same technique of forcing liquid into the body via some sort of pressure. Unfortunately if the dose isn’t delivered properly, splashing can occur, ruining the injection. The amount of force used can also damage the skin. Concerning its method, the team still has additional research to do, including testing on a variety of actual people: So far the only tests have been done on gelatin covered with synthetic skin.

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