Injecting drugs, rather than oral administration, can help to ensure they are delivered in a localised way and avoids the potential issues thrown up by the digestive system.
Yet, hypodermic needles have their own set of distinct disadvantages. They cause trauma to the skin, produce biohazardous waste once used and many patients are frightened of them.
Although not a new concept, technological advances have meant that microneedles are rising in the ranks for drug delivery solutions, commercially speaking.
Now, thanks to advancements in microelectronics, microneedles less than 0.1 mm in diameter can be manufactured. Various materials can be used to prevent pain, tissue reactions and other traumas related to injections.
Furthermore, recent research from a team at the University of Texas at Dallas, has seen microneedles that can painlessly administer drugs and then break off and dissolve underneath the skin.
So, size definitely matters and none more so to a patient who undoubtedly would prefer a painless injection…
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