For people who have to endure frequent or daily injections, the process is often painful and bruise-inducing. A team from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) is hoping to ease this pain with a new microneedle.
According to TheHindu.com, the needle is about one-third of the thickness of traditional needles, with a diameter of just 130 microns. The microneedles are also made of silicon instead of steel. Between its size and material, the needles are able to administer drugs painlessly.
The team had to first ensure the silicon was biocompatible, since the material reacts with blood plasma and can corrode over time.
“So we coated the needle with very thin layers of titanium and gold through electroplating,” said K.B. Vinayakumar, lead author and researcher at IISc.
In additionally to being painless, the microneedles can also easily be mass produced. They are still in the animal testing phase, so it may be years before such a needle is available in hospitals and doctors' offices.