Scientists from the United States and the Netherlands presented their experiment to capture how a stream of water passes through a droplet. This will help to develop needleless injections.

A new study by engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Twente in the Netherlands has shown how small jets of water penetrate hundreds of times through many types of droplets, with high-speed cameras capturing each penetration. The team’s videos are reminiscent of the famous stroboscope photographs of a bullet piercing an apple.

With the help of new video recordings, the MIT team recorded the dynamics of the impact for use in further research. Since the droplets in their experiments were transparent, the researchers were also able to trace what happens inside the droplet as the jet passes.

Based on these experiments, the researchers developed a model that predicts how a jet of liquid will affect a droplet of a certain viscosity and elasticity. Since human skin is also a viscoelastic material, they say the model can be tuned to predict how fluids can be delivered through the skin without using needles.

This research will help develop modern needle-free injection systems that use a variety of means to rapidly deliver a drug through the natural pores of the skin. For example, Portal Instruments is working on a development that uses an electromagnetic actuator to eject a thin stream of drug at a rapid rate to penetrate the skin into muscle. The team is developing a needleless injection system to inject smaller amounts of drug into thinner layers of the skin – to the depth at which tattoos are applied.

“We want to explore how a needle-free injection can be done in a way that minimizes skin damage. Through experimentation, we gain all this knowledge that will allow us to understand how to create jets with the right speed and shape for injection into the skin, ”the researchers noted.