Each year, hundreds of thousands of people suffer medical complications from hypodermic needles that penetrate too far under their skin. A new device developed by MIT engineers and colleagues aims to prevent this from happening by keeping needles on target.
The device, which is purely mechanical, is based on concepts borrowed from the oil industry. It involves a hollow S-shaped needle containing a filament that acts as a guide wire. When a physician pushes the device against a tissue, she is actually applying force only to the filament, not the needle itself, thanks to a special clutch.
When the filament, which moves through the tip of the needle, encounters resistance from a firm tissue, it begins to buckle within the S-shaped tube. Due to the combined buckling and interactions with the walls of the tube, the filament locks into place "and the needle and wire advance as a single unit," said Jeffrey Karp, an affiliate faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) and co-corresponding author of a recent paper on the work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The needle and wire proceed through the firm tissue. But once they reach the target cavity (for example, a blood vessel) there is no more resistance on the wire, and it quickly advances forward while the needle remains stationary. Because the needle is no longer moving, it cannot proceed past the cavity into the wrong tissue.
Karp believes that the device could reach clinics within three to five years pending further pre-clinical and clinical testing.
First author Erik K. Bassett, now at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), developed the device for his MIT master's thesis. He did so under Alexander Slocum, the Neil and Jane Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, with guidance from Karp and Omid Farokhzad of HST, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (Karp is also affiliated with the latter two). Additional authors are also from HMS and MGH.
Elizabeth Thomson | EurekAlert!
NIH scientists combine technologies to view the retina in unprecedented detail
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Eye Institute
Medica 2018: New software for a more efficient planning of minimally invasive surgery
06.11.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences