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Transdermal Drug Delivery

November 9, 2016

Cold plasma may open up the skin to no-needle drug delivery.



Injections without needles. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

[Star Trek Clip]

In Star Trek, Dr. McCoy administered drugs right through the skin without needles. Shizouka University researcher Kazuo Shimizu and grad student Jaroslav Kristof are attempting something similar using a blast of ionized gas known as cold plasma to temporarily render the skin more permeable to drugs. Kristof says the technique reduces the amount of drug a patient would have to take.

JAROSLAV KRISTOF (Shizouka University):

It means that there’s less side effects, so it should be safer, and painless, because you have some pain when you use needles, so this should be also advantage.


So far they’ve tested the concept only on samples of pig skin, so it has a long way to go before being used on human patients. They report the research at the annual AVS symposium in Nashville. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon