Needle-free jet injection may allow individuals with diabetes to measure blood sugar levels without the use of lancets, according to research published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology. The investigators demonstrated that this technique, which involves using a high-speed narrow jet of fluid to deliver a drug directly, could be used to collect blood samples through releasing enough blood for glucose sampling.
According to the investigators, jet injection has been researched for years, including the development of jet injectors for insulin, nicotine, and local anesthetic for dental procedures. The study authors demonstrated that this same technique could be used for extraction as opposed to injection by releasing blood through piercing the skin with a small volume of saline solution.
The study enrolled 20 healthy participants, each of whom received a lancet prick and jet injection via 3 differently shaped nozzles in order to evaluate which was the best option and to compare the level of pain from the jet injections to the lancets. Patients were blinded by an opaque barrier that prevented them from seeing the procedure while still allowing for communication with the practitioner.
According to the investigators, each nozzle was effective, with some more effective than others. Most of the jet injection nozzles were largely perceived as no more painful than a standard lancet and, in some cases, it was perceived as less painful.
“When you know there’s not a device that is pricking your skin, you could speculate that people will find jet injection more acceptable,” says Andrew Taberner, MSc, PhD, head of the Bioinstrumentation Lab at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, in a press release. “But we don’t have evidence to back that up. That wasn’t part of this study. We were first trying to find out if it worked, and it did.”
The investigators are now researching whether it is possible to use jet injection not only to release blood, but also to extract fluid, allowing for the design of an even smaller nozzle.
“Our technology has the capability to both deliver and withdraw fluid,” Taberner said in the release. “No other jet projection technology has that capacity.”
Needle free glucose monitoring a step closer for diabetics [news release]. EurekAlert; November 10, 2021. Accessed November 11, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/934476