Machine Design

Tiny Needles Deliver the Drugs

Engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a way to get drugs that normally cannot be delivered through the skin to do just that.

The key is to attach the drugs to an array of small needles or microneedles that punch small holes in the skin. The stainless-steel microneedles are 620-microns long.

Tests showed drugs pass through the small holes for about 48 hr, then the body’s healing processes seal the punctures. According to researchers, microneedles offer several advantages in drug delivery. They keep the amount of drug in patients’ bloodstream at proper or therapeutic levels using lower doses. And because lower doses are used, the liver doesn’t have as much substance to metabolize into potentially harmful compounds.

Make Contact
Georgia Institute of Technology,


A thin, flat plate containing an array of microneedles, rests on top of a drug applicator.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.