One of my greatest fears are injections - I don't fall onto the floor, ball up and cry - but I just hate them. I always expect they're going to bring me a world of hurt, and I can't wait for the day when this relatively primitive technology is replaced, well, my wishes are slowly coming true.
Scientists from the Seoul National University in South Korea are hoping to help people like myself, but replacing the sharp metal of an injection, with laser-powered injections - frickin' lasers! A paper published in the Optical Society's Optics Letters journal states that the new method uses laser pulses to create a precisely controlled stream, which is said to be around the width of a human hair - much more manageable.
The injections would then target the epidermal layer, which is a portion of the skin that has no nerve endings, which would create something researcher Jack Yoh calls a "completely pain-free" experience. The high-pressure steams are capable of delivering whatever the injection is being used for, without damaging skin tissue. Yoh spoke with the Optical Society, where he explains:
The impacting jet pressure is higher than the skin tensile strength and thus causes the jet to smoothly penetrate into the targeted depth underneath the skin, without any splashback of the drug.
Yoh is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and is developing the new technology with the help of Seoul National University graduate students. Yoh and his team are working on finding a way to produce low-cost injectors, where it would be used for mass vaccinations in children.