Fear the doctor's needle no more. Injections can be applied without the use of metal penetrating the skin, instead high power jets of the drug can force its way through your skin. The medical industry has had this tech for some time, but due to the limited control over how deep the injected drug is applied, we have yet to see widespread use. MIT has taken the concept to the next logical stage, control how the drug is applied.
George N. Hatsopoulos Professor of Mechanical Engineering Ian Hunter, and his team, have applied precision control over the amount of and depth a drug is injected. Older jet-based systems use a spring loaded mechanism, Hunter's uses a Lorentz-force actuator. The actuator is a piston containing a magnet, and it is surrounded by a coil. When current is applied to the coil, it can move the magnet and the injection. Precision control the outcome, direct manipulation of the speed at which the drug is applied correlates to the depth, and, of course, the piston position can be precisely controlled, adjusting the dosage.
When used the MIT jet-based injector goes through two stages. One is the high-pressure stage that penetrates the skin to the required depth, and the other stage slowly pushed the drug into the surrounding tissue. Keep in mind, it is still penetrating the skin, it will still hurt. However, the size of the hole produced is the same a mosquito would inflict, or so says the team. How bad could that hurt? Hopefully, we will see this tech become the industry standard soon.
The team is also working on another innovation, powdered vaccines. To sidestep spoiling of vaccines that lose refrigeration (known as the "cold-chain problem"), this power need only be applied to water and administered. Developing countries are the main target for this innovation, countless lives will be saved for sure.