Say goodbye to those painful, tear-jerking needles because painless injections are now coming your way!
A device with the size of a ping-pong ball that extracts a small sample of blood when held against the skin may soon replace those painful needles, according to representatives from Tasso Inc., a company that is working closely with the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the project.
Instead of pulling the blood from the veins, which are closed channels, the device pulls it from the open channels in which blood flows through many microscopic vessels called capillaries. During the 2 minute collection of the blood, a delicate vacuum creates capillary action, drawing blood to flow into an attached container that’s lab-ready. According to reports, the patient should feel entirely no pain!
At these scales, surface tension dominates over gravity, and that keeps the blood in the channel no matter how you hold the device,” says Casavant.
At present, the device is able to pull 0.15 of a cubic centimeter, which makes it practical for testing cholesterol, infection, cancer cells and blood sugar, however, diabetes is not an initial market due to the frequency of tests needed.
A technique for taking samples to diagnose HIV is still ongoing, according to the company. The disposable device needs only 6 injection-molded plastic parts, says Casavant, noting this will simplify manufacturing and cut costs compared with conventional hypodermic needles.
Currently, blood is stored and handled by means of an unbroken cold-chain, which means that every step of the process is carefully orchestrated to keep the blood at the same temperature. Without the need for cold chain transportation, individuals could draw their own blood at home and mail the sample to the lab at their leisure, according to a company press release.
According to the said US-based company, if all goes well, they will be sending the application to the Food and Drug Administration at the end of 2015. More so, the company has been given a $3 million grant by the US Defenses Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help get it to the market and reach the market during 2016.
With the money, they plan to embark on blood preservatives in the goal of stabilizing blood so it can survive one week at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, thereby eliminating a costly step in the process.
We see our specialty as people who need to test semi-frequently, or infrequently, to monitor cancer or chronic infectious diseases. Instead of buying a machine or expensive equipment, we ship you this device, you put it on your arm for two minutes and send it back to the lab,” said Casavant in a press release.
It sounds like a pretty swell idea.
via Science Daily