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.