Needle-free injection is one of those areas of drug delivery that shows real promise across a wide range of therapies. For nearly 15 years we’ve been active in this area, developing novel approaches to solving some of the hurdles in this area. In the late 1990’s we set about developing our own ‘motive power’ technology for needle-free systems that would be suitable for a wide range of uses.
We examined many different power sources that would be able to deliver the right amount of pressure to break the skin of the patient and deliver the required dose. It was also important, in our concept, to develop a device that could deliver many doses to many patients without dropping performance.
We worked with the animal health division of one of the world’s top five pharma companies to develop prototypes, based on our motive power technology, for a system that could vaccinate pigs using a vaccine that was delivered using manual syringe based injection methods. We developed the technology from bench-top demonstrator rigs, optimising performance of a complex system through Taguchi experiments, and delivered hand held device prototypes for use in field studies, all in less than four months. The trials demonstrated that needle-free delivery of the vaccine was equally effective as needle based delivery.
In addition to the work for this big pharma company, we decided to develop a concept product around this core technology for the mass vaccination of humans, principally in the developing world. The device needed to be comfortable to use for extended amounts of time, simple to operate, easy to load, non-invasive and high-throughput. It also needed to use aesthetics that were non-threatening. The resulting concept provides us with a great example of our capabilities in needle-free devices, industrial design and usability, and has also led to many projects in this area.
An interview with Ive and Newson provides a fascinating insight into the duo’s design vision but what struck me most was how relevant their approach is to medical product development.
We are challenged time and time again by the need to design personal and user orientated products…
This is a neat idea from Lift Labs – but still a long way from being a product any of us would give house-space to…