Microneedles now for painless immunisation

American scientists have developed a new technology using "microneedles" to deliver painless immunisation.

Los Angeles: American scientists have successfully developed a new technology using "microneedles" to deliver painless immunisation.

Experiments conducted on mice have proved that instead of a shot, people also might get immunised in future through a "stick-on" skin patch containing tiny microneedles, the lead author of the study, Sean Sullivan, was quoted as saying by media reports .

Sullivan and other experts from Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology conducted the study.

The microneedles - less than 1 mm in length - dissolve into the skin and are small enough that they don`t draw blood or cause pain. If the patches are found to work on humans, getting an immunisation may be as simple as stopping by the pharmacy, picking up your patch and slapping it on, he said.

"There are so many little annoyances with the standard vaccination process that could go away," he said.
Because the patch appeared to work using less vaccine than in a typical shot, the discovery has the potential to reduce the amount of vaccine that needs to be produced, which could alleviate shortages in case of pandemic flu, other experts said.
The study findings have been posted in the July 18 online issue of Nature Medicine