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About Authors:
Waghmare P.V.*, Chinchole A.S.1, Chavan D.V.2, Dr.Bhusnure O.G.3
Master of pharmacy, Department of Quality Assurance (*,1, 2,3)
Maharashtra College of Pharmacy, Nilanga, Dist. Latur (MS) 413521, India

A new generation of needle-free vaccine delivery devices (jet injectors) has been developed in an effort to decrease the risks of needle stick injuries to healthcare personnel and to prevent improper reuse of syringes and needles. Needle-free technology offers the very obvious benefit of reducing patient concern about the use of needle. Needle free injection gives very effective injections for a wide range of drugs and bioequivalent to syringe and needle, results in less pain, and is strongly preferred by patients. Additional benefits include very fast injection compared with conventional needles and no needle disposal issues. Not only it can benefit the pharmaceutical industry in increasing product sales, it has the added potential to increase compliance with dosage regimens and improved outcomes.


Needle-free injection techniques can be used to administer vaccines and medications in the pork industry. Needle-free injection offers a fast, effective route of administration. There are hazards that must be addressed to safeguard employees who utilize needle-free injection systems; therefore, an enforced education program is crucial to the success of using needle-free injection in any pork operation. Needle-free injection technologies have been developed for injecting liquid formulations, as well as injecting drugs and vaccines in a solid dosage form. Needle-free injection systems are novel ways to introduce various medicines into patients without piercing the skin with a conventional needle. They can take the form of power sprays, edible products, inhalers, and skin patches. While hypodermic needles were first introduced during the 1800s, needle-free systems are relatively recent inventions. Today, they are a steadily developing technology that promises to make the administration of medicine more efficient and less painful.

1. To review needle vs. needle-free injection systems and describe the different types of needle-free injection systems.
2. Less Painful and Potentially Safer
3. The key benefits of avoiding a needle and ease of use of a liquid jet injector do not outweigh the overall cost of goods compared with other delivery technologies.
4. Major advantages of needle-free systems are the elimination of broken needles, a more constant delivery of vaccines and drugs, and decreased worker safety risk.

Needle vs. Needle-free Injection:

1. Cost Efficiency
Needle-free injection systems can potentially reduce medical costs for the pork producer because the chance of injury to an employee from inadvertent needle sticks is eliminated. Needle-free systems also eliminate the purchase of needles.

Needle breaks, which can damage tissue and cause a decrease in overall yield and profitability, are also therefore eliminated.

However, the start-up costs associated with needle-free injection systems can be large. Pork producers should weigh the costs and benefits to these systems before adapting new technology.

2. Worker Safety:
Safety is a key ingredient to any pork operation. Employees must be properly trained on the use and maintenance of all equipment. Needle injection can be dangerous due to inadvertent needle sticks or cuts. However, needle-free injection is not 100% safe. Needle-free systems are designed for a high force dose to be administered very quickly and should only be used with proper training. These systems do offer a limited amount of risk to the operator, if properly trained, and exclude the possibility of needle sticks and cuts.

3. Sterility
Sterility is a key factor to proper vaccination and drug delivery. Sterility can be affected by human error. For example, the same needle may be used on multiple animals. Workers may forget to change needles when drawing vaccine from a bottle. Needle-free injection takes the needle out of the equation, and due to the high powered dosing mechanism, there is a little to no chance of cross contamination.

4. Pork Safety
The use of needles, along with human error, may also cause pork carcass defects. If needles are disposed of correctly or dropped after use there is always of a possibility of an animal ingesting the needle or being stuck in an unassuming place.

Needle-free injection systems eliminate residual needles and needle fragments from pork carcasses.1 The Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus program recommends that all producers have a broken needle policy in place.2

5. Proper Dosage
Injection site is a crucial element in making sure that a proper dosage is received by the animal. A needle injection provides many unknown variables that can prevent proper dosing and in turn create havoc in your vaccination program.

Proper dosing is highly dependent on many factors. Among these factors are the size and age of the pig and the recommended route of administration. Different methods of administration such as subcutaneous (SQ) or intramuscular (IM) are very important in guaranteeing quality vaccination. If a vaccine or drug is not administered accordingly the effectiveness of the drug and the withdrawal time are altered. Incorrect injection sites in both needle and needle-free injection can impair pork safety.3

Needle although effective has several draw backs8:
1. Needles are expensive. The cost results in a lower vaccination rate, especially for children in developing countries.

2. Lack of reusability, if a needle syringe is not sterilized reusing it can lead to the spread of disease.

3. Many people have a fear of needles (often called Trypanophobia, Belonephobia or Aichmophobia) which causes them to avoid treatment. Needle pho-bia affects at least 10% of the general population.

4. Accidental needle sticks lead to injuries and possible infections.

Types of needle free injection systems:

Needle free technologies are of three types:
a) Powder injections
b) Liquid injections
c) Depot or projectile injection.

The Manufacturing Process:12, 13
There are numerous methods of producing each needle-free injection system. The following process focuses on the production of an air-forced system. These systems are made through a step by step procedure which involves molding the pieces, assembling them, and decorating and labeling the final product. The individual pieces are typically produced off-site and assembled by the needle free injection system manufacturer. All of the manufacturing is done under sterile conditions to prevent the spread of disease.

a)      Making the pieces

  • The first step requires the production of the component plastic pieces from plastic pellets. This is done by a process called injection molding. Pellets of plastic are put into a large holding bin on an injection molding machine. They are heated to make them flowable.
  • The material is then passed through a hydraulically controlled screw. As the screw rotates, the plastic is directed through a nozzle which then injects it into a mold. The mold is made up of two metal halves that form the shape of the part when brought together. When the plastic is in the mold, it is held under pressure for a specified amount of time and then allowed to cool. As it cools, the plastic inside hardens.
  • The mold pieces are separated and the plastic part falls out onto a conveyor. The mold then closes again and the process is repeated. After the plastic parts are ejected from the mold, they are manually inspected to ensure that no significantly damaged parts are used.

Figure 1.Parts of needle free injection

b) Assembling and labeling
The parts are next transported to an assembly line. In this production phase various events occur. Machines apply markings that show dose levels and force measurements. These machines are specially calibrated so each printing is made precisely. Depending on the complexity of the device, human workers or machines may assemble the devices. This involves inserting the various pieces into the main housing and attaching any buttons.

c) Packaging
After the assembly step, the injection devices are put into packaging. They are first wrapped in sterile films and then put into cardboard or plastic boxes. Each part is packaged so movement is minimal to prevent damage. For consumer products, an instruction manual is included along with safety information. These boxes are then stacked on pallets and shipped via truck to distributors.


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