Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PharmaJet, a Spring-Loaded, Needle-Free Injector

The PharmaJet is a spring-loaded gun which fires drugs through your skin, direct into the body. Needle-free injection systems aren’t new, but the PharmaJet has some advantages over older designs.

First, there’s that spring inside, cocked by putting the unit into a box and cranking a handle. This avoids the need for gas-canisters which need to be replaced and recycled. Next up is the actual injection head. This is loaded from a vial of medication, just like you’d do with a needle syringe, and then popped into the gun. You push the whole unit hard up against the skin, hit the trigger and a thin jet of delicious medicine is forced through the skin and into the body.

Once done, the tip is tossed away. This single-use design avoids contamination, and because there are no sharp bits, it’s easier and safer to dispose of the used parts.

For the last two weeks I have had to suffer the Lady jamming a needle into a roll of my belly-fat and plunging a syringe anti-coagulant into my body, to keep things flowing in an immobile broken-leg. While she has drawn blood once, and also hit a muscle (God knows how she found a muscle under the carpet of flab), I think I still prefer the needle. Used properly, you feel almost nothing. With the PharmaJet I’d be screwing up my eyes in anticipation of a sting like you get from a rubber-band fired from point-blank range (although apparently the gun doesn’t actually hurt).

The PharmaJet is approved for use in the US, so maybe you’ll start seeing this Star Trek style tech in hospitals soon.

How it works

The PharmaJet needle-free system delivers liquid medications at high speed, creating a "liquid jet" that penetrates the skin and delivers the medicine through the skin in less than 1/3 of a second.

Patient injection

Click here to download the IFU.

PharmaJet's needle-free injection technology is gentler and safer than gas-powered technologies of the past.

Jet injection to deliver liquid medications has existed in various forms since the 1860s. In the 1950s the U.S. military developed their own high-speed models, or "jet guns", for mass vaccination programs. Common features of such historic jet injectors were gas-powered energy sources combined with a multi-use nozzle interface. Both of these features led to inherent delivery problems, ranging from skin laceration to cross-contamination with blood-borne pathogens between patients. Such "multi-use nozzle jet injectors" or MUNJIs as they were known were eventually banned in 1997 due to these inherent problems.

The PharmaJet injector utilizes a single-use, sterile, auto-disable needle-free syringe and a spring-powered energy source that creates an optimal pressure profile. This combination results in a superior injection experience and feeling compared to prior injectors and in fact to needle-bearing syringes themselves.

Less Expensive by Design

The PharmaJet system is not only different from needle and syringe systems, it is also different from other needle-free systems.

It requires no outside power source to operate.

It is durable and will perform thousands of injections. It can be disinfected and cleaned using standard medical disinfectants and cleaning solutions.

The single-use disposable syringe is made of medical grade polypropylene, the same material used in most standard needle syringes. The resulting product not only costs less, but is durable and compatible with liquid and lyophilized medications. The syringe can be filled at the time of injection from single or multi-dose standard vials with a PharmaJet vial adapter or it can be pre-filled.

It's easy to train users or health-care givers and the PharmaJet system is already being used in high throughput immunization settings.


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