To take the sting out of vaccinations, a team of researchers at King's College London has created a patch of micro-needles made from sugar that dissolves into your skin, all while delivering the life-saving vaccine without pain.
Besides removing the ouch factor from injections, the proposed system serves another purpose: the patches can hold vaccines at room temperature (traditional vaccines need to be kept refrigerated, the scientists say) and are cheap to produce. Hospitals and clinics in the developing world could easily produce and store them without the need for refrigeration. Plus, since there is no need for injections and needles, the risks of transmitting blood-borne diseases is reduced.
Mashable reports that last year Fujifilm Corporation developed a micro-needle patch for painless injections. Back in 2005, two Japanese companies unveiled their joint creation, the Nanopass 33, dubbed the "world's thinnest needle" and used to inject insulin.
A team from Indian Institute of Technology and Tokai University is also reportedly developing a needle modeled after the mosquito's mouth in an effort to create a less painful prick.