Star Trek-Style Needleless Injections Now a Reality

High-pressure jet designed for those who hate needles

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted May 27, 2012 2:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's like something out of Star Trek: a needleless injection that can deliver medicine painlessly (well, nearly painlessly). Researchers at MIT have unveiled a high-pressure jet for delivering medicines to a range of depths beneath the skin, reports the Daily Mail. "We think this kind of technology ... gets around some of the phobias that people may have about needles," said a member of the team that developed the jet-injection system.

The injector works through something called a Lorentz-force actuator, a powerful magnet attached to a piston inside a drug-filled vial. When a current is applied, the magnet ejects the capsule at very high pressure, puncturing the skin with no more pain than a mosquito bite. Inventors have made similar devices before, but this is the first one that can adjust for different depths and pressures—low for a baby being immunized, say, and high for an adult getting an injection.

Researchers at MIT have developed a new needleless injector that delivers medicine using a powerful magnet.
Researchers at MIT have developed a new needleless injector that delivers medicine using a powerful magnet.   (MIT Bioinstrumentation Lab)
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Getting a shot at the doctor's office may become less painful in the not-too-distant future, thanks to a new, high-pressure jet.   (LabEquipment)

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