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Drug Injection, Without a Needle

 Image via MITnews

In the late 19th century, Hendrick Lorentz, a Dutch physicist, described what later became known as the Lorentz force. Essentially, a charged particle can be accelerated by moving it through an electric and magnetic field. Today, researchers at MIT are applying the same principle to medical device innovation.

They have developed a device that uses the Lorentz force to inject tiny, high pressure jets of medicine directly through the skin at near sonic speeds. Though it sounds intense, the procedure is purportedly less painful than a traditional needle injection and less invasive, using a nozzle no wider than a mosquito's nose (think how often you feel it when a mosquito bites you).
Furthermore, by controlling the degree of charge, this new device allows doctors to control the rate and amount of injection depending on the depth and amount of drug needed. This gives the new device a big advantage over previously developed jet injectors which offer a “bang or nothing” release that can only inject the same amount of a drug to the same depth.
Watch as Ian Hunter and Catherine Hogan of MIT's BioInstrumentation Lab and Department of Mechanical Engineering further explain the device.  
 -Chris Wiltz is the assistant editor at MD+DI
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