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Adjustable Injector Developed for Patients Big and Small

Maria Fontanazza

November 1, 2008

2 Min Read
Adjustable Injector Developed for Patients Big and Small

R&D DIGEST


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Bozeman is eager to work with a company to manufacture an autoinjector that adjusts to a patient's age and size.

Having access to immediate treatment during emergencies such as allergic reactions or a chemical attack is critical. Although auto­injectors are already on the market to address these situations, a concept devised by two doctors takes the idea a step further by providing a mechanism to adjust medication dosage and needle depth based on a patient's size and age.

“A limitation with current autoinjectors is that they're fixed single-dose devices,” says William Bozeman, MD, of Wake Forest University (Winston Salem, NC). “A fixed dose is inappropriate and potentially dangerous in a lot of situations.” Bozeman developed the device concept with Robert Luten, MD, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Florida's College of Medicine.

Part of the autoinjector designed by the doctors is similar to devices on the market. A storage area holds the medication, a plunger deploys upon hitting the trigger, and a spring-loaded needle delivers the drug into the patient. The design aspect that differs is a spiral internal mechanism that adjusts the medication dose as the user turns the knob. As the stop moves, it adjusts the depth of the needle that emerges. An indicator allows the user to match the size and age of the patient.

Bozeman explains that some medications have negative side effects and can be fatal if overdosed. Similarly, getting too little of a dose won't treat a condition properly and can result in death, especially with an allergic reaction.

Inadequate needle length is another problem with autoinjectors. If the device contains the correct amount of medicine but doesn't go deep enough, the medication could be delivered to the wrong area and thus would be ineffective.

The autoinjector designed by the team can administer a variety of medications, and it has self-administration capability, which is helpful for patients who take daily medications at home.

Another version of the device contains a dry-powder medication for long-term storage and a separate chamber with a liquid to reconstitute it. The user can mix the two chambers and then inject the drug.

The inventors have filed for a patent and are eager to work with a commercial entity that can create a prototype and conduct testing that can move the product into the market. Bozeman thinks the first use of the device will be to administer epinephrine.

Copyright ©2008 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

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