Star Trek’s Hypospray May Soon Be A Reality

By Rudie Obias | Published

MIT researchers are currently working on a technology that can inject drugs and medicine into human tissue without the use of hypodermic needles. Does this sound like something you’ve seen on Star Trek? How many times have we seen Dr. McCoy on the original Star Trek or Dr. Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation inject drugs into someone without a hypodermic needle?

Bones uses a hypospray but this actual device is called a “jet injector” and it works by “pushing” medication into human tissue at the speed of sound. The benefits of this technology are numerous. Everything from dealing with squeamish patients to reducing medical waste to making insulin more “user-friendly,” can all benefit from these jet injectors.

In the above video, researchers compare the feeling of getting injected by these jet injectors to a mosquito bite. This is a very interesting delivery system for drugs. It’s so fast, in fact, that theoretically doctors can now inject drugs directly into eyes and ears with such ease.

As stated by Catherine Hogan, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering,

“If you are afraid of needles and have to frequently self-inject, compliance can be an issue,” she says. “We think this kind of technology … gets around some of the phobias that people may have about needles.”