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Mosquitos Provide the Design for New Hypodermics

Sun, 21st Apr 2002

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Scientists are attempting to take the sting out of injections by developing a new kind of needle, modelled on the bite of a mosquito. The group, led by Seiji Aoyagi from Kansai University, Japan, have created a tiny needle measuring a millimetre long by 0.1 millimetres wide (the thickness of a human hair), and with a serrated edge mimicking the proboscis of a mosquito. Since mosquitos can bite people painlessly, the team hope that their needle will enable them to give injections and collect blood samples painlessly. At the moment they're still struggling to make the needle less brittle since it could cause serious problems if a piece broke off in the blodstream. We're wondering how they intend to stop blood clotting in the needle since mosquitos have a natural anticoagulant in their saliva. Also, this will be a very slow route of delivery, if they intended to use it to give drugs, since its tiny size limits the flow of fluids though it.
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