You may never have to get another needle.
Scientists at MIT have developed a high-pressure "jet-injection" device that shoots medicine through the skin painlessly (or very nearly painlessly).
The device can benefit diabetics and others who have to self-inject but are squeamish and avoid doctors' orders.
"We think this kind of technology gets around some of the phobias that people may have about needles," research team member Catherine Hogan said.
The injector, which looks like a small cylindrical gun, works by means of a powerful magnet attached to a piston that ejects the drug at very high pressure and velocity out through the nozzle -- which, the researchers said, is the size of a mosquito's proboscis. So the injection should feel like nothing more than a mosquito bite.
The MIT team's device is a breakthrough because, unlike the jet-based injectors on the market today, it can deliver a range of doses to various depths under the skin, and with more precision. Giving a baby a vaccination, for instance, requires less pressure than a shot to an adult.
The team didn't say when the needle-less needle might be available.