Needle, mosquito

The team of scientists from Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) and Tokai University at Japan have come with something that will make happy most of the people who dread shots.

The scientists have come with ‘painless micro needle’ that imitates the female mosquito’s mechanism of sucking up blood. Suman Chakraborty of the Indian Institute of Technology said, “The needle has an inner diameter of around 25 microns and an external diameter of 60 microns, which is about the same size as a mosquito’s mouth. Also, the needle’s size and the fact that it works by suction makes it painless.”

Suman Chakraborty and Kazuyoshi Tsuchiya of Tokai University in Kanagawa note that the micro needle will be used for drawing blood, injecting drugs and to monitor glucose levels for diabetics.

Normally, a conventional syringe needle has an outer diameter of around 900 microns and made of silicon dioxide. In comparison the latest one is made of robust titanium and is the size of mosquito’s mouth. It can penetrate as deep as 3 mm below the skin. It can reach capillary blood vessels.

While the scientists are planning to commercialise the latest painless needle, Geoffrey Thomas of the University of Calgary, Canada, who is working on a similar blood glucose sampling and analysis project comments, “This new blood extraction is interesting, but I question its ability to be fabricated and initialised en masse.”

The basic obstacles for the commercialisation of the needle happen to be the cost and manufacturing method and the user-friendly factor.