New painless Microneedle Inspired by Mosquitos
Engineers from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Tokai University of Japan have developed a new hypodermic microneedle that is completely painless. The aspect of the design that is based off of nature’s grotesque horror, the female mosquito, is the unique micro-electro-mechanical based suction system. The system uses an intermittent sucking motion to draw up blood, which is how most god-awful mosquitos get access to our precious bodily fluids.
Conventional needles have an outer diameter of around 900 microns, while this new design has a diameter of 60 microns. The device is being designed in hopes that it can be used for glucose monitoring, blood draws, insulin pumps and other drug delivery devices.
Designs for microneedles have been thrown around the science world in the past, but those previous designs usually used a much smaller needle length as well as a more brittle material, silicone dioxide. This design uses titanium for a much more snap resistant needle. The needle is long enough to reach 3 millimeters deep into human skin, which is the depth needed to reach superficial capillaries.
The main challenges facing this device are cost and feasibility of manufacturing. I think they also have a marketing issue, because some people really truly cannot stand mosquito related paraphernalia. I want my blood back you thieving insects!