Fujifilm Develops Painless Substitute for Injection

Nov 15, 2012
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics & Digital Health Online
The "Micro-needle Array"
The "Micro-needle Array"
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The "Micro-needle Array" containing a pigment in place of a medicine
The "Micro-needle Array" containing a pigment in place of a medicine
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

Fujifilm Corp developed the "Micro-needle Array," which is attached to a skin to bring a medicine into a human body.

The Micro-needle Array is a sheet on which there are minute protrusions with a length of 100μ to 2,000μm. When it is attached to a skin surface, a medicine sinks into a skin from the protrusions. Unlike injection needles, the protrusions do not cause pain when they are attached to a human skin, the company said.

As a material for the protrusions, Fujifilm employed a polysaccharide that has been used as a material for injectable solutions. The protrusions dissolve under the skin in several minutes to bring the medicine contained in them into a body.

With a method using protrusions that do not dissolve in a human body, there is a risk that the protrusions break and remain in the body. But the protrusions disappear with the new method, ensuring a high safety level, the company said.

For the development of the Micro-needle Array, Fujifilm applied high-precision processing technologies that it developed for manufacturing photographic films. The length and shape of the protrusions can be freely designed, and the array can be mass-produced, the company said.

Currently, Fujifilm is conducting experiments with animals by filling the Micro-needle Array with vaccines and hormones. The company confirmed that, in the administration of vaccines, the new method generates the same or higher amount of antibodies than injections. Now, it is planing to prepare to conduct clinical studies with humans.

Fujifilm intends to commercialize the Micro-needle Array by itself and develop its applications in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, etc.