HP reseachers have developed a means of using their inkjet technology to deliver drugs to human beings in what is described as something similar to the patches that are currently used.

Whereas the patches deliver the drugs by the skin absorbing the medication over a period, HP's technology will use about 90,000 microneedles to deliver the drug more effectively and giving far more control over the dosage.

HP has licenced the technology to Irish drug firm Crospon Ltd, who will pay HP a royalty in order that they can commercialise the process.

While the microneedles penetrate the skin, the patch is painless to use. The microneedles are designed in such a way that they don't penetrate the skin deep enough to impact the nerves.

Nerves are located approximately 700 microns, or millionths of a metre below the top layer of skin. But the microneedles will only penetrate 75 microns to 100 microns.

Equipped with basic electronics and a power source, the microneedle patch measures roughly 2.5 centimeters square, and is 3 millimeters thick. The patch will pack between 400 to 1,000 microneedles and include a power source, such as a battery, as well as electronics to control when drugs are administered and in what quantity.

Hewlett Packard


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