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Medicine Technology

Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain 250

Posted by timothy
from the non-death-by-a-thousand-cuts dept.
wog777 writes "Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in Sunday's edition of Nature Medicine. A microneedle contains needles so small you don't even feel them. Attached to a patch like a Band-Aid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine."
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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain

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  • by XanC (644172) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @10:44PM (#32946918)

    Can a blood sample be taken this way?

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:15PM (#32947076)
    In my 22 years i've been i the hospital as much as i have been at home. Docs have tried just about every medical grade adhesive for the different bandages i've needed. So far nothing works for more than an hour before some nasty skin irritation. Even OTC bandages need to come off fairly quickly. I've learned to deal with even the biggest of needles though, so its not an issue anymore. For those who are candidates for this patch some of the nastiest shots(MMR and Gardasil) can be administered pain-free. However, i wonder how wide of scope these can cover. The article(yes, i RTFA) does not mention whether this can me used to inject medications that are typically injected into muscle areas. In any case, this looks promising, but i dunno how far they will get. We will find out "in 5 years"
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:19PM (#32947094) Journal
    It does open a few possibilities for practical jokes, though arguably not as many as the anything you can aerosolize and disperse already does...(for instance, has anybody else ever wondered what would happen if one were to crop-dust a heavily populated area with a suitably light-stabilized LSD solution? Or distributed a genetically engineered virus through the ventilation system of the DEA headquarters that spliced in the necessary DNA sequences to make those exposed capable of synthesizing endogenous THC?)
  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:27PM (#32947126)

    It's never nice to have someone not take your phobia seriously.

    I have absolutely no problem with needles - in fact I have locally anesthetized myself and performed minor surgery on myself (yes I am a doctor) on more than one occasion. But then again I cannot bear the sight of spiders... To each their own!

    The good side is that if you can deliver a virus (or virus fragments) this way, you can deliver pretty much anything else, too. The down side is how much will it cost versus current methods. Hypodermics are very cheap. And of course there will always be practical limits - nothing will ever replace two short large bore catheters, or a central line for that matter, in certain situations...

  • by Yosho (135835) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:33PM (#32947166) Homepage

    As somebody else who has a phobia of needles, I'll chip in that I desperately wish this kind of thing could work in reverse. The number one reason why I avoid going to a doctor whenever possible is because I know they're going to want to use a needle to inject or draw something, and I'd rather just cut my hand open with a knife and let them scoop the blood up than have a needle draw blood. Seriously.

    But it would be really cool if I could at least get vaccinations through just applying a patch.

    (and I think some kinds of spiders are pretty cute)

  • Re:Hypospray. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:37PM (#32947184)

    It reminds me more of the fast-acting transdermal patches that Babylon 5 was fond of. [youtube.com]

    Oh, and: SPOILER ALERT. Sorta. [penny-arcade.com]

  • by metalmaster (1005171) on Sunday July 18, 2010 @11:46PM (#32947236)
    That wasn't really the point, but i've got hydrocephalus. The cranial shunt does the trick most of the time, but the doctors just cannot get it right. Im in and out every few months, but the hospital is a second home.

    On with the discussion folks. Nothing more to see here.
  • Re:Genius (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Monday July 19, 2010 @12:32AM (#32947396)

    You have obviously never had to approach a screaming 2 year old with a needle in your hand.

    Yeah... that and a 6'3 415lb body builder with wild eyes being held down by 6 people to have blood drawn with a needle. What I have to tell people is:

    1) Don't let me see the needle. Otherwise it's over and you might have some structural problems with the building when I "leave".
    2) Somebody needs to put their whole body weight down on my arm when you do it.

    Even then it takes every single ounce of will I have to not lose it. It's a real problem. I have to have full anesthesia to get any kind of dental work done. One time a dentist thought I was kidding and surprised me with a needle in the face. My reaction was so severe I cracked his chair backwards trying to get away from it. Damn things are expensive.

    I have a family history of diabetes on both sides. So far I have lucked out. I have a legitimate concern about the day I might be forced to use a needle. It would be hell on Earth.

    This patch could be life changing, albeit for a very small part of the population, but still life changing.

  • by Nursie (632944) on Monday July 19, 2010 @02:21AM (#32947784)

    I have actually, yes. Not that I have access to LSD, and the virus thing sounds somewhat fanciful, but yes.

    I also wondered what might happen if you spread a whole lot of cannabis seed over a large area and just let it grow. Unfortunately I'm told the results would be pretty useless due to the female plants only really producing when there are no males around to fertilise them.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:37AM (#32949002) Homepage

    for instance, has anybody else ever wondered what would happen if one were to crop-dust a heavily populated area with a suitably light-stabilized LSD solution?

    That has basically happened in France [telegraph.co.uk], thanks to the CIA.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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