It won’t hurt a bit. That’s what we all tell ourselves (and our kids).
But we all know it’s not always true.
Hypodermic needles have been scaring adults and children for generations but researchers at the University of South Australia may have brought us closer to consigning them to the medical waste bin of history.
Their amazing new invention, a dissolvable microneedle patch, not only offers genuinely pain-free jabs but also reduces the risk of infection when used in developing countries.
Comprised of several hundred tiny needles which pierce the top layer of skin without reaching the underlying nerves, the patch can deliver vaccinations or drugs without the accompanying sting.
It’s also made of water-soluble materials which dissolve entirely on the skin within a minute of application, meaning there is no sharp waste to dispose of afterwards.
What’s more the patch itself has anti-bacterial properties, protecting against infections such as golden staph which can sometimes occur after a normal injection.
Lead researcher Krasimir Vasilev says the patch will have particular benefits in developing countries with high infection rates or unsafe vaccination practices.
“Injections are one of the most common health care procedures used for vaccinations and curative care around the world,” Professor Vasilev says.
“The dissolvable feature of our silver-loaded microneedles ensures absolutely no risk of reuse, removing one of the greatest causes of infection.”
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