This Won't Hurt . . . Tiny needles deliver drugs painlessly

10:23am, November 25, 2003

Microscopic needles may one day join hypodermic needles and drug-loaded patches as a way to get medicines into the bloodstream. Whereas syringes hurt and patches work only for small molecules, painless microneedles could deliver medicinal proteins and other large molecules through the skin, say developers of the technology.

Mark R. Prausnitz of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and his colleagues describe new methods for making arrays of both solid and hollow microneedles, as well as the first proof of the efficacy of hollow microneedles. They report their findings in the Nov. 25 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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