If you are among them who get jitters each time they see a needle injection, this news might give you hope. Now getting a shot for flu will be less painful. Students at Rice University have developed a 3D printed device which uses ordinary coolants that numb the skin before an injection is given. The device will be helpful for elderly patients, children and those with a fear of the pain caused by needles. The device has been aptly named Comfortably Numb. If you are wondering how the device works, you can have a look at this post to know more about it.
Numbing Pain with 3D Printing
The simple 3D printed device numbs the skin and reduces the stinging sensation of the needle. The team of three college freshmen from Rice University, Mika Hua, Greg Allison and Andy Zhang created this single-use prototype of the device. It is a portable and ready-to-use ice pack which uses an easy-to-produce mechanism.
The device consists of a 3D printed cylinder containing two chambers, one with ammonium nitrate and another with water. A metal plate is fixed at one end of the device. If you want to activate it, you have to twist the top. With its activation, the two chambers open and a chemical reaction takes place. This chemical reaction cools the metal plate and it acts as an ice pack to reduce the injection pain significantly.
Mike Hua said in a press release “Our device is 3-D printed and consists of two sealed chambers containing the chemical ammonium nitrate and water. A simple twisting motion moves the chambers into alignment to allow the chemicals to flow through the chamber to produce a rapid endothermic reaction. We then numb the skin by contacting the device’s metal surface to the patient’s skin.”
Andy Zhang said “The materials for one of these cost about a quarter, and then we just had to do estimates based on how much manufacturing would cost. We compared our device to similar things already in production and we’ve estimated the cost at about $2.”
Greg Allison said “At the end of the day, what we’re creating is a self-contained device with a very cold contact surface, and there are many applications for that.”
The numbing effect was created by the device within a short span of just 60 seconds.
Target to Use the Technology for Larger Use
The device right now is aimed for use among children and elderly patients while receiving injections in sensitive parts of their body like groin or face. The device can be used by tattoo artists or for ear piercing in the long run.
It is just the beginning of a bigger project. The team hopes to develop a device which will numb and inject at the same time. This will make shots, vaccinations and injections of any type quick and painless.
The advancement and reducing costs of 3D printing could make Comfortably Numb easily available in large cities as well as small rural areas. The ease of use will make it even more popular.
What do you think?
Do you think Comfortably Numb will make it big in medical field? Should more such 3D printing innovations take place? Share your views in the comments below.
Image & Article Source – psfk.com