I love writing about health innovations that can help people, especially if they are simple solutions with thoughtful design. The anoDyne™ microneedle is a nifty Canadian innovation that promises pain-free injections. If you know someone who has to take daily medication injections, or just plain hates getting poked with needles anytime, read on.
Inventor Dr. Pankaj Modi was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16 and vowed then to invent a better solution than traditional needles that hurt. He teamed up with Dick Crawford, an engineer and owner of a design and construction company in Peterborough, Ontario and together, they developed and tested the design over nine years.
Instead of going as deep as the muscle layer, the anoDyne™ microneedle only goes in a scant 1 mm to inject medication into the gap between skin layers. Since there are no nerve endings there, the injection is pain-free. Medication travels quickly to the blood stream via interstitial fluid.
The device is the size of a wine cork or a tube of lipstick and it can be used almost anywhere on the body where there is skin. Single-use doses are pre-loaded by a pharmacist according to a doctor’s prescription. After use, the needle retracts into the case with a click where it is locked inside and cannot be reused.
The design is patent-protected in more than 33 countries. Human clinical trials to measure drug uptake and pain tolerance for insulin delivery are starting in November 2015, led by Dr. Azar Azad, managing director of Mount Sinai Services in Toronto. The company is crowdfunding to raise money for these clinical trials. If successful, manufacturer PKA SoftTouch Corporation plans to approach pharmaceutical companies to commercialize the device.
It’s easy to see how this will be a great step forward for children with type 1 diabetes who must take daily insulin injections, but I think it could be great a great delivery method for a wide variety of injections, from vaccines to pain medications.
H/T to technology journalist Luigi Benetton for sending this information my way.