Scientists at Indian Institute of Technology and Tokai University have taken the natural features of a mosquito’s mouth, and created a new type of needle that promises pain-free blood sample collection and injections.
When mosquitoes bite you, it’s not their mouth that hurts you: their ultra-fine proboscis dips beneath the skin, and then a muscle squeeze-relax motion draws blood out of it. The new needle, made of titanium alloys for strength, has a tiny microelectricalmechanical pump that mimics the mozzy, and can work to extract blood or pump in drugs. It’s also just 60 microns across, versus 900 microns of a conventional syringe. The team hopes to commercialise the product, but they’ve got a few technical hurdles to overcome before we can all worry less about having an injection. [NewScientist]