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How does it work?
a) Medication is driven at high speed through a tiny orifice

b) A fine stream of medication penetrates the tissue

Figure 2: Injecting Medicament through Skin by Needle Free Injection

c) Injection event requires less than 0.5 seconds
d) Injections can be IM, SC or ID

Figure 3: Types of Parenteral Route

Drug administration through conventional needle system and needle free injection technology. A spherical bolus is formed in case of conventional needle system where the surface area/volume ratio is very less when compared to needle free injected devices. Drug is dispersed as a spider web in case of needle free injected systems.

Mechanism of working: 9, 10

  1. Needle-free injection technology works by forcing liquid medication at high speed through a tiny orifice that is held against the skin. The diameter of the orifice is smaller than the diameter of a human hair. This creates an ultrafine stream of high-pressure fluid that penetrates the skin without using a needle.
  2. The design of the device has a major influence on the accuracy of subcutaneous delivery and the stresses imposed on the product to be delivered.
  3. The design must ensure that a sufficiently high pressure is generated to puncture the skin, while the subsequent pressure is reduced to ensure that the molecule is deposited comfortably at a level that does not reach the muscle tissue.
  4. High-pressure delivery could potentially damage fragile molecules, such as monoclonal antibodies.
  5. Successful delivery of such molecules, therefore, requires a device with carefully controlled power nuances. Several companies are involved in development of this technology, which includes, Antares Pharma Inc, Aradigm Corporation, Bioject Medical Technologies Inc and Biovalve Technologies Inc.

Needle free Injectors-Pulse:

Needle free Injectors- Acushot:

Injection Methods:
Subcutaneous injections in small pigs should be given by pulling loose skin in the elbow or flank area. This technique is called tenting. In sows, the area just behind the ear is an acceptable sight for SQ injection. Intramuscular injection is conventionally administered in the neck just behind the ear. IM injection anywhere else is not acceptable because it will compromise pork safety and it should never be injected in the loin or ham muscles.

Types of Needle-free Injection Systems:
Needle-free injection systems are not a new development. The earliest systems were developed in the 1930s and have been used in a wide variety of medical areas over the years.4 Through innovation and technology there have been modifications and variations that allow for needle-free injection systems to be more widely available and effective to consumers.

1. Spring-load jet injector
The spring-loaded jet injector uses a spring mechanism that is drawn back. A trigger is then hit which release the spring creating a “jet stream” of vaccine or drug through the dermal layers of the skin. It is capable of subcutaneous, intramuscular or transdermal delivery. Each time the spring-load is activated the spring must then be manually redrawn to dose the next animal.

2. Battery-powered jet injector
The battery powered jet injector uses a small rechargeable battery pack to retract the dosing device. The dosing device has an electrical piston that is automatically redrawn after dosing. It is good for continuous use and minimizes worker fatigue. It is release by a small trigger. The injector resembles a battery powered hand drill. The battery powered system administers subcutaneous, intramuscular or transdermal dosage depending on the recommended method.

3. Gas-powered jet injector
This type of injecting system was one of the first developed. It uses an air/gas cartridge attached to the gun either directly or indirectly through a tubing system to deliver power to the injector piston. When the trigger is activated it releases the piston and creates a jet stream of vaccine or drug subcutaneously, intramuscularly or transdermally.

Problems it solves: 10

  1. Avoids needle stick hazard.
  2. No sharps disposal problems.
  3. Eliminates the concern for the re-use of needles.
  4. Injection pain is reduced in most cases.
  5. Speeds the injection cycle.
  6. Improved bio-availability of vaccines.
  7. Reduces the system cost of injection.
  8. Key Needle Free Manufacturers of the World

Advantages and disadvantages of needle-free injection devices (NFIDs) over needle-syringe devices in swine production:


1. Elimination of broken needles

2. Consistent vaccine delivery

3. Lower vaccine volume

4. Higher antigen dispersion

5. Elimination of worker needle sticks

6. Elimination of needle disposal

7. Less pain and stress


1. Higher start-up costs

2. Infrastructure for exhaustible gas systems

3. Higher requirement for training and maintenance

4. No one-size-fits-all NFID

5. Worker confidence in NFID


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