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Researchers Turn to Medtech to Reduce Pain and Swelling from Best-Selling Drugs Image Courtesy of Purdue University
A Purdue University team created a biometric platform that uses an automatic injector to push a drug into the skin model and see how it interacts with the skin tissues.

Researchers Turn to Medtech to Reduce Pain and Swelling from Best-Selling Drugs

A Purdue University team created a technology that could help drug companies create new formulations and injection devices of biologics.

A Purdue University team created a biometric platform that uses an automatic injector to push a drug into the skin model and see how it interacts with the skin tissues. The technology has the potential to help drug manufacturers create new formulations and injection devices of medications.

The researchers noted that eight of the top 10 selling drugs in the United States are biologics, which are produced from living organisms or certain components of living organisms. Subcutaneous injection is emerging as an effective delivery route alternative to intravenous infusion and allows patients to take the drug at home. The problem is, pain and discomfort has kept the practice from being broadly adopted, said the team from West Lafayette, IN-based Purdue University.

“There is currently no reliable platform to quantify pain and discomfort induced by injections for optimizing drug formulations,” said Bumsoo Han, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. “Patients are used to being told to measure their pain levels on a scale from one to 10. We hypothesize that the pain is related to tissue swelling during injection. Our platform enables prediction of mechanical stress and interstitial fluid pressure to optimize drug formulations with the goal of reducing pain and discomfort during subcutaneous injection.”

Han and his team created a biometric platform that uses an automatic injector to push a drug into the skin model and see how it interacts with the skin tissues. The researchers then use the platform to measure stress and pressure and quantify injection-induced tissue swelling.

“We created the platform to provide new information to drug makers to help them better understand the amount of pain a certain injectable medication may cause a patient,” Han said. “They can then work to design and optimize the drug formulations or injection devices to minimize the pain associated with injection.”

Han worked with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to patent the technology, and they are looking for partners. For information on licensing and other opportunities related to this research, contact Patrick Finnerty at PWFinnerty@prf.org.

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