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J Biomech. 2004 Aug;37(8):1181-8.

Jet injection into polyacrylamide gels: investigation of jet injection mechanics.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


Jet injectors employ high-velocity liquid jets that penetrate into human skin and deposit drugs in the dermal or subdermal region. Although jet injectors have been marketed for a number of years, relatively little is known about the interactions of high-speed jets with soft materials such as skin. Using polyacrylamide gels as a model system, the mechanics of jet penetration, including the dependence of jet penetration on mechanical properties, was studied. Jets employed in a typical commercial injector, (orifice diameter: 152 microm, velocity: 170-180 m/s) were used to inject fluid into polyacrylamide gels possessing Young's moduli in the range of 0.06-0.77 MPa and hardness values in the range of 4-70 H(OO). Motion analysis of jet entry into polyacrylamide gels revealed that jet penetration can be divided into three distinct events: erosion, stagnation, and dispersion. During the erosion phase, the jet removed the gel at the impact site and led to the formation of a distinct cylindrical hole. Cessation of erosion induced a period of jet stagnation ( approximately 600 micros) characterized by constant penetration depth. This stage was followed by dispersion of the liquid into the gel. The dispersion took place by crack propagation and was nearly symmetrical with the exception of injections into 10% acrylamide (Young's modulus of 0.06 MPa). The penetration depth of the jets as well as the rate of erosion decreased with increasing Young's modulus. The mechanics of jet penetration into polyacrylamide gels provides an important tool for understanding jet injection into skin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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