Nobody likes to take shots that are extremely painful. But with the developments in science and technology a new technology has been developed in which the needles are made so tiny that they penetrate into the skin without causing any pain while injecting. Engineers from the University have created such micro needles—made from the major protein in silk, fibroin. The work is in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

The researchers created molds for arrays of needles just 500 microns tall and 10 microns wide. That’s a tenth the width of the average human hair. These micro needles can be used by pouring the solution of fibroin mixed with the drug to be injected into the molds. Then the resulting micro needles are dried up and are sent across for further processing.

During the tests conducted, a patch containing several newly invented micro needles were successful in releasing the drug which also maintained its biological activity. The tiny microneedles are too undersized to get to the nerves under the skin, so they can deliver drugs without the pain of a traditional shot. Even better, they can gradually release medication over time. The new microneedle system could make the gradual delivery of many drugs smooth as silk.