Portal Instruments, a Cambridge, Massachusetts company is developing a needle-free drug injection system designed to reduce the pain and anxiety associated with injections. Company CEO Patrick Anquetil explained in a MedGadget article that the digitally-controlled injector uses innovative technology developed at MIT to rapidly deliver drugs through the skin. A linear actuator pressurizes the liquid, which exits the device at very high speed as a jet the size of a human hair. An algorithm controls injection depth for delivery to the right tissue.
The best drugs for treating chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis must be injected. They are often viscous formulations requiring a high dose volume.
The Portal device can deliver a full milliliter, far more than similar instruments. By reducing or eliminating the pain of injections, the device should increase patient compliance with treatment protocols, improving outcomes.
Portal is working to reduce the size of the injector, which can be linked to a smartphone app for data capture and reporting. It also hopes to develop a pediatric version. The company aims to begin pilot production in early 2018.