IIT Kharagpur researchers develop microneedle to administer drug in a painless way

Kolkata: Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have developed a microneedle which is capable of administering large drug molecules in a painless way, a statement issued by the institute said on Saturday.

The Institute's Department of Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering has not only reduced the diameter size of the microneedles but also increased the strength so that they do not break while penetrating the skin, it said.

The microneedle can be used even in COVID-19 vaccination in future, besides for insulin delivery, the statement said.

"A typical use could be achieved in insulin delivery or medication for diseases of the lymphatic system, skin including some forms of cancer, or even COVID-19 vaccine," lead researcher Prof Tarun Kanti Bhattacharyya said.

He said, "We have fabricated high strength glass carbon microneedles which can withstand the skin resistive forces. Added to this is our designing of the ionic polymer metal composite membrane based micropump which increases the flow rate of the drug molecules in a controlled and precise manner. We have further integrated this microneedle and micropump to achieve controlled drug delivery."

He said the device would find extensive use in any form of transdermal medication.

"The more we engage in multidisciplinary R&D, the better we would be able to produce customized microneedle based effective delivery systems," he added.

The microneedle has the potential to transform the drug delivery system from the current syringe based one to a painless but effective experience for the patients.

The drug delivery device has been successfully tested with animals as per medical protocol.

The researchers have also filed for a patent in India and published the research in IEEE and Nature journals.

The research for this innovation was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and Department of Science of Technology of Government of India, the statement added.

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