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Vaccine Patch Removes Needle Pain

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the non-death-by-a-thousand-cuts dept.

Medicine 250

wog777 writes "Researchers led by Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Institute of Technology reported their research on microneedles in Sunday's edition of Nature Medicine. A microneedle contains needles so small you don't even feel them. Attached to a patch like a Band-Aid, the little needles barely penetrate the skin before they dissolve and release their vaccine."

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There's other uses too (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32946874)

A citizen needs some calibration? Don't worry, he wont even feel the needle shot!

Paranoid Much (1, Offtopic)

WED Fan (911325) | about 4 years ago | (#32946940)

Ah, someone who listens to Alex Jones and buys his hats in the sandwich wrap aisle.

Re:There's other uses too (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#32947094)

It does open a few possibilities for practical jokes, though arguably not as many as the anything you can aerosolize and disperse already does...(for instance, has anybody else ever wondered what would happen if one were to crop-dust a heavily populated area with a suitably light-stabilized LSD solution? Or distributed a genetically engineered virus through the ventilation system of the DEA headquarters that spliced in the necessary DNA sequences to make those exposed capable of synthesizing endogenous THC?)

Re:There's other uses too (5, Funny)

gregrah (1605707) | about 4 years ago | (#32947442)

has anybody else ever wondered what would happen if one were to crop-dust a heavily populated area with a suitably light-stabilized LSD solution? Or distributed a genetically engineered virus through the ventilation system of the DEA headquarters that spliced in the necessary DNA sequences to make those exposed capable of synthesizing endogenous THC?

You, sir, have just posted your way in a very exclusive database somewhere deep in the basement of the Department of Homeland security.

Does it work in reverse? (2, Interesting)

XanC (644172) | about 4 years ago | (#32946918)

Can a blood sample be taken this way?

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

WED Fan (911325) | about 4 years ago | (#32946922)

Paranoia strikes deep.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32946962)

Unless it's administered by microneedle.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (2, Informative)

Chazerizer (934553) | about 4 years ago | (#32946928)

No. Blood must be drawn directly from the venous system (or arterial system, depending on the goal). At that depth, there aren't even that many capillaries.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#32947584)

Bull.

I had daily blood draws for WBC/RBC/Platelets for five years when I had ALL.

Three times a week from the vein for liver functions.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (0, Offtopic)

virgilcaine (1778646) | about 4 years ago | (#32946938)

You're on the right track

Re:Does it work in reverse? (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32946966)

Your average red blood cell is around 10 micrometers thick. White blood cells are even bigger. This would probably make the "needles" big enough to hurt like hell - so no, it would defeat the purpose. Besides, kids are the only ones who cry when getting a blood sample taken. But they'll cry when they see a stranger coming up to them in a white lab coat anyway, needle or not.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (3, Informative)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 4 years ago | (#32947024)

I can assure you sir, that it is not just kids who cry at the thought of needles piercing their skin. As one with such a phobia I hope this technology makes it into practice ASAP.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32947126)

It's never nice to have someone not take your phobia seriously.

I have absolutely no problem with needles - in fact I have locally anesthetized myself and performed minor surgery on myself (yes I am a doctor) on more than one occasion. But then again I cannot bear the sight of spiders... To each their own!

The good side is that if you can deliver a virus (or virus fragments) this way, you can deliver pretty much anything else, too. The down side is how much will it cost versus current methods. Hypodermics are very cheap. And of course there will always be practical limits - nothing will ever replace two short large bore catheters, or a central line for that matter, in certain situations...

Re:Does it work in reverse? (4, Interesting)

Yosho (135835) | about 4 years ago | (#32947166)

As somebody else who has a phobia of needles, I'll chip in that I desperately wish this kind of thing could work in reverse. The number one reason why I avoid going to a doctor whenever possible is because I know they're going to want to use a needle to inject or draw something, and I'd rather just cut my hand open with a knife and let them scoop the blood up than have a needle draw blood. Seriously.

But it would be really cool if I could at least get vaccinations through just applying a patch.

(and I think some kinds of spiders are pretty cute)

Re:Does it work in reverse? (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32947228)

Well if needles are a problem and you just need routine blood work, you could probably negotiate capillary puncture [google.co.cr] with your doctor, instead of a needle. That's done with a lancet - like a mini knife - that cuts you with a spring mechanism. It happens so fast you really don't feel any pain at all. It's usually used on small children but there's no reason why it won't work on an adult. No needles involved.

For injections, however, you're out of luck - sorry!

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Lotana (842533) | about 4 years ago | (#32947306)

For injections, however, you're out of luck - sorry!

Perhaps use one of those air-forced-through-the-skin injection methods (Name escapes me). Hurts just as much if not more than the traditional way, but meets his no-needle requirement.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (2, Informative)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | about 4 years ago | (#32947500)

Jet injector [wikipedia.org] , aka a hypospray.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#32947540)

It happens so fast you really don't feel any pain at all.

Keep telling yourself that; you might fool yourself into believing it. I'm diabetic. Right now, I use those lancets twice a day to test my blood glucose. I also give myself insulin every morning. Guess which one hurts more. One hint: it's not the hypo.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32947580)

Keep telling yourself that; you might fool yourself into believing it.

      The perception of pain is subjective. Your mileage may vary. I've had open heart surgery, among other things, so I've been poked and prodded quite a few times too. Frankly I have no problem injecting myself, gluteus (a bit difficult to do on myself but I have managed), abdomen or deltoid. Try a chest tube because you have a tension pneumothorax due to Dressler's syndrome [wikipedia.org] one day, and drain 3L in 5 minutes. Then you will know pain.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#32947756)

Then you will know pain.

No thanks, I've already had enough experience with it. Two broken bones and several kidney stones were enough. I've been testing my bg for eight years, finally went on insulin back in May. If you do it just right, you literally don't feel the hypo; if not, there's a little sting. About the only way to handle the lancets and blood test is to learn not to mind the fact that it's going to hurt, every time.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

tuttleturtle42 (1234802) | about 4 years ago | (#32947590)

There is a wide range of settings for those - I remember the few times I had lancets used on me (between about 8 and 15) I felt no pain. However, my dad also had put them on the lowest setting, a setting which would not work on his fingers.

I would say that it is possible to make them not hurt, depending on the person, however if you need to do so often then the scar tissue does make you need to use a higher setting which will hurt more. Also, that is assuming that you need no more blood than to test your blood glucose levels (that is all that was being tested in the few cases where I had one used on me)

Re:Does it work in reverse? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#32947610)

Unless the blood work being done specifically precludes it for some reason, a doctor might also be open to prescribing a short-acting anxiolytic for the procedure. One of the faster benzodiazapenes, or the like.

Not a perfect solution; but they use those against anxiety and panic disorders for a reason...

Re:Does it work in reverse? (-1, Troll)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | about 4 years ago | (#32947416)

I suggest you grow up.

Like the fear of talking to girls, needles are something you should have learned to handle like everyone else. The same goes for spiders.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (4, Funny)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 4 years ago | (#32947272)

"in fact I have locally anesthetized myself and performed minor surgery on myself (yes I am a doctor)"

I've removed splinters as well. Of course, I didn't use an anesthetic because I'm not a doctor.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | about 4 years ago | (#32947282)

have a cup of concrete and harden the fuck up princess.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

blai (1380673) | about 4 years ago | (#32947084)

well no, I used to cry to that because it felt like something is getting sucked out of my blood vessels, which was definitely what taking a blood sample involves.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

aronschatz (570456) | about 4 years ago | (#32947250)

I'm 27 and I still get freaked when I need to have blood taken from me. Any needle really does it. In fact, the last time I had a blood test, my body just shut down and stopped pumping blood. The nurse couldn't get the second vial filled before I told her I was about to pass out.

It was a weird feeling, but I didn't pass out. Crazy stuff.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (0, Troll)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 4 years ago | (#32947328)

"the last time I had a blood test, my body just shut down and stopped pumping blood"

You're an idiot. If your heart actually stopped (which is the only way your body can "just stop pumping blood") then you would have been told so after the doctors where you were restarted it. You don't just have your heart stop, "feel like you're about to pass out", and then feel just fine after the needle is taken out.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#32947600)

People who suffer from vasovagal trypanophobia fear the sight, thought, or feeling of needles or needle-like objects. The primary symptom of vasovagal trypanophobia is vasovagal syncope, or fainting due to a decrease of blood pressure.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#32947596)

Only kids huh?

I hate needles, especially vein punctures, since I had ALL as a kid. Hell I have a hormone blood draw at 9am tomorrow and I'm dreading it.

Yes I have Needle Phobia and I'm in the thirties, alot of adults have it, especially cancer survivors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trypanophobia [wikipedia.org]
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/story?id=4072974&page=1 [go.com]

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#32947704)

A human RBC is between 6 and 8 micrometers in diameter and 2 micrometers thick.

WBCs range from 6-7 to 16 micrometers in diameter with macrophages being 21 micrometers in diameter.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | about 4 years ago | (#32946968)

If they barely penetrate the skin, I don't think that there would be enough bloodflow to do anything. Maybe if the blood samples we needed were ridiculously small. Like an efficient blood sugar meter or something. Most typical things requiring a blood sample need a significantly larger amount, the sort that takes poking at arteries in your arm.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 4 years ago | (#32947112)

If you'd ever had an arterial stick, you'd know. It's a whole different ballgame from the venous ones. For starters, the arteries are deeper and less numerous.

Re:Does it work in reverse? (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | about 4 years ago | (#32947118)

I figured I got it wrong. I just sort of guessed based on the direction they stuck the needle in. So the needle points upstream, then?

Hypospray. (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 4 years ago | (#32946932)

Another idea seemingly ripped straight from Star Trek and made into reality. As someone who just recently ordered their custom tailored Star Trek uniform (grey shoulders/coloured neck style), I heartily approve of this trend! Let's have replicators next, please.

*Disclaimer: Yes, I know that lots of tiny needs are not how hyposprays work, but please. The end result is close enough.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | about 4 years ago | (#32946950)

*needles.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | about 4 years ago | (#32946978)

Maybe if we made a means of spraying small clouds of microneedles... Though that sounds much more like an amusing weapon than a means of healing someone.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | about 4 years ago | (#32947564)

Though that sounds much more like an amusing weapon than a means of healing someone.

A gun that shoots healing? Genius!

Re:Hypospray. (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 4 years ago | (#32946986)

We already have hyposprays. They're called jet injectors. They actually predate star trek (they were invented in 1960) and have been used for decades for vaccinations, particularly polio vaccinations in Africa. A diabetic friend of mine also uses one for his insulin.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 4 years ago | (#32947096)

They are also incredibly bad-ass, but they still make kids cry [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Hypospray. (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#32947204)

My understanding is that(at least in tropical medicine and military applications) the point isn't really that they are less painful than needles(and, even if they are, having some guy hold a big nasty-looking device up to your arm and make a pneumatic wh-thunk sound isn't calculated to give kiddo sweet dreams) its that they are much faster and more efficient and cheap.

Because there is no needle(which is either an expensive FRU or a temptation to ill-equipped medical staff in the ass-end of nowhere to wash out and re-use until it is blunt), you can skip all the fancy western hospital one-time-use assemblies that would be impractical in the field; but avoid the cross-contamination that occurs if you share needles. Depending on the design, there might be a simple pneumatic tip that gets replaced each use; but it makes lining up an entire village somewhere and pumping them full of vaccine much more logistically feasible.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Rollgunner (630808) | about 4 years ago | (#32947560)

If the tip is completely free of contaminant and in good repair and the pressure is very carefully regulated, the jet gun is less painful than a needle. If the previous conditions are *not* met, it can be far more painful than a standard injection, as the (relatively) slow moving jet of liquid deforms slightly on impact and then tears through your skin.

I remember seeing one that had a foot pedal attached for repressurizing the reservoir in the field... I imagine getting shots from *that* was a treat!

Re:Hypospray. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947254)

however some people say they cause serious enough to prevent their use whereas I'm not sure this one can. http://www.mendosa.com/injector.htm

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#32947264)

As someone who just recently ordered their custom tailored Star Trek uniform...

Uh oh.

We already have hyposprays. They're called jet injectors. They actually predate star trek (they were invented in 1960) and have been used for decades for vaccinations...

The US used to have mass inoculation campaigns using those things. The U.S. Army used them for decades. Worked fine. The latest generation of the technology [dantonioconsultants.com] is small, battery-powered, and uses reusable cartridges. The problem is that either the whole thing has to be disposable, which gets expensive, or it has to be re-sterilized, which requires support equipment and careful handling.

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#32947352)

Yeah, I went to boot camp in 1975. We spent uncounted hours in line to get inoculations. A number of them were done with those jet injectors, but many were done with needles. That "A" shot was the killer. It had to go into a buttock, it had to go in deep, and they used a HUGE frigging needle. And, after they injected the stuff, you had to work out, to get the gob of stuff to circulate, or it would just stay right there, and make your lower body stiffen up.

At least that's the story they told us. I think it was just an excuse to torture a captive audience. Or, to weed out the weenies. Whatever. That damned shot HURT!!!

Re:Hypospray. (2, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#32947184)

It reminds me more of the fast-acting transdermal patches that Babylon 5 was fond of. [youtube.com]

Oh, and: SPOILER ALERT. Sorta. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Hypospray. (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 4 years ago | (#32947290)

Another idea seemingly ripped straight from Star Trek

It's "derms" from Neuromancer [google.com] , you philistine.

Derm [wikipedia.org]
An adhesive patch applied to the skin in order to transmit a drug transdermally.

Hmmmm (2, Informative)

AndrewBC (1675992) | about 4 years ago | (#32946942)

I remember seeing an article about this idea in a popular science magazine years and years ago. Glad to see it's still around for those who hate needles.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947208)

Yeah, like 15 years ago. Some quick research produced this reference:

S. Hashmi, P. Ling, G. Hashmi, M. Reed, R. Gaugler, W. Trimmer, Genetic transformation of nematodes using arrays of micromechanical piercing structures, BioTechniques 19(1995) 766-770.

more references in http://www.pharmainfo.net/reviews/microneedles-revolution-transdermal-drug-delivery [pharmainfo.net]

...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (5, Insightful)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | about 4 years ago | (#32946948)

Immunizations are certainly the number one reason why children between the ages of about 9 months and six years hate going to the doctor and will kick and scream and flail as soon as they see anybody come into the exam room with a stethoscope. Vaccine patches would be great, particularly if they made it look like a sticker (which are second only to popsicles in the ability to placate an irritated youngster). Now if they'd only figure out a way to make looking in the ears and mouth easier, we'd be set!

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (5, Funny)

Chazerizer (934553) | about 4 years ago | (#32946960)

There's really only one answer to the ears and mouth problem, which also happens to be one of my all time favorite pick-up lines: "Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?"

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (1)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | about 4 years ago | (#32946984)

I think you'll get the same response in both cases: "There he is, Officers! Don't let him get away!"

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947180)

Putting the "sensual" back in "non-consensual" :)

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 4 years ago | (#32947382)

You give the kid a pretty patch, he admires the picture, slaps it on his arm, falls asleep, and you can spend the next 10, 20, or 30 minutes poking and prodding. Problem solved, right?

Errr - maybe not. The little brat will tell all his friends at daycare about the patch that made him sleepy, and the next batch of brats will cry when you offer them a patch.

Why do people keep having kids, anyway? They are such great pains! *

* Disclaimer - I have three little brats of my own, and I STILL want to know why people keep having kids! ;^)

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 4 years ago | (#32947422)

The CIA and movie kidnappers and people under interrogation also rejoice!

Re:...and pediatricians and family docs rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947574)

Stick your kids with a needle every day from the time they are born and you won't have this problem.

Genius (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32946952)

It is often said that true genius is coming up with the idea that makes everyone say "I could have thought of that".

One of the problems with transdermal patches has always been one of controlling dosage. This is because the skin is only permeable to lipids, thanks to layers of keratin on the outside and the basement membrane lying inconveniently just before you get to any blood vessels. So anything that you needed to give your patient via the skin had to be fat-soluble, or it just wouldn't work. And then you have the problems of concentration gradients, skin thickness, how long you leave the patch on, and how "greasy" that person's natural skin is anyway. That makes for a lot of variables in delivery. Which means you can never be exactly sure of the dose.

By piercing through the skin's outer layers into the dermis with a "microneedle", suddenly you've eliminated a few things: 1) You can deliver hydrophyllic substances (like certain viruses or their components, for example) and 2) you can control dosage much much more accurately because you can be sure that what you're delivering is going to make it to the bloodstream versus lying around in the epidermis and or never getting off the patch in the first place.

I foresee that this technology will soon be used for much more than pediatric vaccine delivery and the creators will become very rich indeed. This doctor thinks it's a great idea. In fact the only problem is going to be for those allergic people - with previous patches all they would get is red skin, an itch, and maybe a localized rash. Now they risk a full blown type I allergic reaction.

Re:Genius (1)

epp_b (944299) | about 4 years ago | (#32947006)

...with previous patches all they would get is red skin, an itch, and maybe a localized rash.

So, basically, someone needs to make sure that both types of patches will co-exist.

Re:Genius (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 4 years ago | (#32947110)

What's the point of a single-use patch? I had a tetanus shot the other day, and needles are so thin now, I literally felt nothing.

Now, once the shot took the spot on my arm was sore for a few days, but the needle was absolutely painless.

This just seems like a less controlled and more expensive way to do the same thing.

Re:Genius (4, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#32947170)

What's the point of a single-use patch?

      You have obviously never had to approach a screaming 2 year old with a needle in your hand. Besides the red face, the 120 decibels, and the snot everywhere, there's that look on the parents' faces that says "you only get one go".

      No but seriously, there are all sorts of applications outside of pediatrics. For example palliative care - terminal patients who need regular medication can just use a patch instead of trying to find someone to inject them every 6 hours or so (ever tried injecting yourself? It can be done but it's not fun - especially when you're weak and/or dying and you can't really remember if you just did it or not). Senior citizens. Diabetics. The sky is the limit. This is something new, and the full implications of this technology haven't been explored yet.

Re:Genius (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | about 4 years ago | (#32947396)

You have obviously never had to approach a screaming 2 year old with a needle in your hand.

Yeah... that and a 6'3 415lb body builder with wild eyes being held down by 6 people to have blood drawn with a needle. What I have to tell people is:

1) Don't let me see the needle. Otherwise it's over and you might have some structural problems with the building when I "leave".
2) Somebody needs to put their whole body weight down on my arm when you do it.

Even then it takes every single ounce of will I have to not lose it. It's a real problem. I have to have full anesthesia to get any kind of dental work done. One time a dentist thought I was kidding and surprised me with a needle in the face. My reaction was so severe I cracked his chair backwards trying to get away from it. Damn things are expensive.

I have a family history of diabetes on both sides. So far I have lucked out. I have a legitimate concern about the day I might be forced to use a needle. It would be hell on Earth.

This patch could be life changing, albeit for a very small part of the population, but still life changing.

Re:Genius (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947474)

Yeah... that and a 6'3 415lb body builder with wild eyes being held down by 6 people to have blood drawn with a needle.

Do your wild eyes make it harder to hold you down? How wild are they? I mean, do they hunt for their own food? Do they eat things raw? While still kicking and screaming?

Re:Genius (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 4 years ago | (#32947502)

When are the psychopaths on Fox News going to take responsibility for getting all the whackos lathered up? No pain, no gain folks! TAKE THE SHOT. There is nothing WRONG with vaccines.

Meh... (4, Insightful)

epp_b (944299) | about 4 years ago | (#32946992)

Let the kids suck it up. I did. It builds character.

Now get off my lawn.

Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | about 4 years ago | (#32946998)

Slashdot is turning into a twitter knockoff. How about creating a PR release section?

Gee, thanks. (5, Funny)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 years ago | (#32947012)

So now when the kids misbehave I won't be able to threaten them with shots from the doctor. Takes the fun right out of parenting...

Re:Gee, thanks. (5, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | about 4 years ago | (#32947062)

On behalf of physicians everywhere who treat kids, I'd like to advise you to go to hell for making your kids think of us as the punishment people. If you want to threaten them with pain, please threaten to do it yourself.

Re:Gee, thanks. (4, Insightful)

Main Gauche (881147) | about 4 years ago | (#32947140)

And here I thought this story was about patients having thin skin...

Re:Gee, thanks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947148)

On behalf of physicians everywhere who treat kids, I'd like to advise you to go to hell for making your kids think of us as the punishment people. If you want to threaten them with pain, please threaten to do it yourself.

Hell? I knew doctors weren't good scientists.

Re:Gee, thanks. (1)

blai (1380673) | about 4 years ago | (#32947098)

Just threaten to punch their teeth off -___-

Re:Gee, thanks. (1)

cyp43r (945301) | about 4 years ago | (#32947334)

Oh you still can, but now you can offer an alternative as a reward.

Re:Gee, thanks. (1)

lostsoulz (1631651) | about 4 years ago | (#32947616)

Takes the fun right out of parenting...

Wait...what? Parenting is fun?

lulz (2, Funny)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 4 years ago | (#32947016)

Far easier to get mercury and mind control chips into your skin if you can't see the syringe. At least before you could ask to examine your vaccine with a x-ing scope of some kind, now it's HIDDEN in the bandage. HIDDEN.

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Re:lulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947456)

*yawn* You know, I would like to be able to get vaccines without thiomersal, not because of some sort of imagined connection with a disease, or some stupid sense of paranoia. It's just between the handling of various lead alloys, my fillings, a broken mercury thermometer, and various accidentally broken florescent bulbs, I'd like to limit my exposure to heavy metals if I can help it. After all, my livelihood depends on my cogitative alertness. Although, to be fair, given the half lives I'm probably OK. I'd still like the option, though; there are other preservatives out there. Granted, I'd also like to avoid formaldehyde with a similar line of thought.

press releases from universities are worth what? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947044)

odd how this story about good ole american know-how resembles this press release from an australian university from April?

  http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=21034

Needle pain? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947058)

Just ask the nurse to inject you some analgesic at the vaccination point first.

could never completely replace the needle (2, Interesting)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 4 years ago | (#32947076)

In my 22 years i've been i the hospital as much as i have been at home. Docs have tried just about every medical grade adhesive for the different bandages i've needed. So far nothing works for more than an hour before some nasty skin irritation. Even OTC bandages need to come off fairly quickly. I've learned to deal with even the biggest of needles though, so its not an issue anymore. For those who are candidates for this patch some of the nastiest shots(MMR and Gardasil) can be administered pain-free. However, i wonder how wide of scope these can cover. The article(yes, i RTFA) does not mention whether this can me used to inject medications that are typically injected into muscle areas. In any case, this looks promising, but i dunno how far they will get. We will find out "in 5 years"

Re:could never completely replace the needle (1)

johnhp (1807490) | about 4 years ago | (#32947130)

I'll bite... why have you been in the hospital 50% of the last 22 years?

Re:could never completely replace the needle (2, Interesting)

metalmaster (1005171) | about 4 years ago | (#32947236)

That wasn't really the point, but i've got hydrocephalus. The cranial shunt does the trick most of the time, but the doctors just cannot get it right. Im in and out every few months, but the hospital is a second home.

On with the discussion folks. Nothing more to see here.

Re:could never completely replace the needle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947244)

Guessing some thing really nasty, but can't think what would have you in hospital over 180days for a year and not leave you dead within 22 years, possibly a bad bowl disease, but as a crohns sufferer I only have a day or 2 in hospital every few years.

As for the grandparent, I would say that since these only do sub-skin injections (blood stream only) they would not be suitable for this at all, and if you have issues with adhesives then not at all for you. Like medication itself the use of these patches would have to be decided on a case by case basis.

The Horror! (5, Funny)

ceraphis (1611217) | about 4 years ago | (#32947122)

I can see it now, the horror story of the future. A killer challenges you to a co-op game of Starcraft 3 and after you pwn some nubs, you high five!

"Wait, what is this, why did you have a band aid in your hand?" *passes out*

"The pwning has just begun, Billy Lumpkins. I'll teach you to troll the warlock forum."

Re:The Horror! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947604)

Hey, if you change nubs to nubbins, that same script could also work for a porn story!

Tro7lkkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947154)

abo0t a pr0ject [goat.cx]

Some details from the article... (4, Informative)

jnnnnn (1079877) | about 4 years ago | (#32947172)

The needles are conical, about 200m diameter by 650m long, with 10m radius of curvature at the tip. They are made from a biocompatible polymer, polyvinylpyrrolidone, and mostly dissolve after about five minutes (they are highly water-soluble). The manufacturing process can be done at 23C (using a mold), avoiding damage to sensitive biological molecules. Each patch held 3 g of vaccine.

For comparison purposes, human hair ranges in diameter from 20-200m.

Here's the article [nature.com] , with some low-res pictures even for non-subscribers.

Re:Some details from the article... (4, Funny)

jnnnnn (1079877) | about 4 years ago | (#32947182)

Slashdot has eaten my unicode. All those "m"s should be micrometers.

Re:Some details from the article... (0, Redundant)

Johnno74 (252399) | about 4 years ago | (#32947494)

Ouchies. Getting a vaccination from a needle 200 meters wide x 650 meters long doesn't sound "painless".

Re:Some details from the article... (0, Redundant)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#32947516)

The needles are conical, about 200m diameter by 650m long, with 10m radius of curvature at the tip.

I wouldn't exactly call these small. Hell, my torso isn't even 1m in diameter!

Re:Some details from the article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947656)

Chicken!

Now just bend over, this won't hurt ~me~ a bit ;)

  { brandishes 200m diameter needle }

Is this available with caffeine!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947186)

Is this available for use with caffeine? I could take the *patch* BEFORE the morning coffee. There's nothing a double hit, if you know what I mean.

Re:Is this available with caffeine!? (5, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#32947234)

There's nothing a double hit, if you know what I mean.

You mean you accidentally the decaf?

Re:Is this available with caffeine!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947342)

Not just the decaf. The entire decaf.

harden the fuck up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947232)

This is dangerous. (Stealth injections) (2, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about 4 years ago | (#32947310)

Now people will be able to inject others with toxins and it will be impossible to detect it.
What you have is a stealth needle, this idea in my opinion is incredibly dangerous, but I guess it will be good for mercenaries because it will reduce the costs.

There is a reason why we can feel needles.

Re:This is dangerous. (Stealth injections) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947436)

Just about to post this!

Reminds me of MI3 when they go grab his wife from the hospital.

(one of probably hundreds of other movies that have done this)

Re:This is dangerous. (Stealth injections) (1)

lostsoulz (1631651) | about 4 years ago | (#32947626)

Now people will be able to inject others with toxins and it will be impossible to detect it

Detection of a toxin will be unaffected. You may even notice the large band-aid that the bad guy has just slapped on your forehead too.

or night clubs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947636)

Someone I know was injected with something a few years back by a total stranger in a rather ordinary New York club. She knew when it happened because she felt an unusual stinging in her butt and then started to feel dizzy a minute or two later -- she then figured out what the stinging must have been. (Fortunately, she was with friends, and was not infected with anything from the injection.) If someone can inject people undetectably, I'm weirded out by all of the creepy uses it can be put to....

Re:This is dangerous. (Stealth injections) (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#32947674)

I doubt that it will make much difference, in practice. If somebody can sneak up and slap a patch on you, they can also sneak up and stab you with an umbrella [wikipedia.org] ...

More generally, the reason that this 'biocompatible microneedle array' stuff is considered medically interesting is because it lets you get the vaccine you want past the skin, rather than being forced to choose from agents that already pass through skin properly, or re-developing a vaccine from the drawing board to make sure that it is capable of soaking through skin without special treatment.

There are already thousands of compounds that soak through skin just fine(consult your friendly local MSDS, and remember what happened to poor Karen Wetterhahn [wikipedia.org] . Yup, dimethylmercury. Sinks right through common lab gloves like they aren't even there, and skin about as easily. Then you die, the hard way.)

Even if you discount the gases, dusts, vapors, and droplet aerosols of the world, when formulating your sinister plan, there are plenty of chillingly skin-permeable options. This breakthrough is only news for doctors, who have to be much more selective: because there are thousands of toxins; but only a few vaccines or drugs for disease/condition whatever.

Autism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32947458)

Since everybody knows that getting a single shot of vaccine increases the chances of getting autism by about 10%, obviously getting thousands of shots from a bunch of needles will increase the chances of getting autism by tens of thousands of percent. If this technique is approved, we are going to be overwhelmed with super-autistic kids. On the plus side, when this happens, the government will not be able to cover it up any more and claim that people like me are just wacky conspiracy theorists who don't understand probabilities.

Re:Autism (1)

yukk (638002) | about 4 years ago | (#32947556)

Where's the funny troll mod option ?

The autism/vaccine correlation does not exist, however kids that don't get vaccines prove with 100% accuracy that their parents are fucking retarded.

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