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Biomaterials. 2011 Oct;32(28):6823-31. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.05.061. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Infusion pressure and pain during microneedle injection into skin of human subjects.

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1
School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.

Abstract

Infusion into skin using hollow microneedles offers an attractive alternative to hypodermic needle injections. However, the fluid mechanics and pain associated with injection into skin using a microneedle have not been studied in detail before. Here, we report on the effect of microneedle insertion depth into skin, partial needle retraction, fluid infusion flow rate and the co-administration of hyaluronidase on infusion pressure during microneedle-based saline infusion, as well as on associated pain in human subjects. Infusion of up to a few hundred microliters of fluid required pressures of a few hundred mmHg, caused little to no pain, and showed weak dependence on infusion parameters. Infusion of larger volumes up to 1 mL required pressures up to a few thousand mmHg, but still usually caused little pain. In general, injection of larger volumes of fluid required larger pressures and application of larger pressures caused more pain, although other experimental parameters also played a significant role. Among the intradermal microneedle groups, microneedle length had little effect; microneedle retraction lowered infusion pressure but increased pain; lower flow rate reduced infusion pressure and kept pain low; and use of hyaluronidase also lowered infusion pressure and kept pain low. We conclude that microneedles offer a simple method to infuse fluid into the skin that can be carried out with little to no pain.

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