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Health Update: Drug diffusion

A syringe with no needle may make painful injections a thing of the past. Developed at Oxford University, it uses compressed gas to fire the drug in powdered form into the skin at twice the speed of sound. The drug penetrates the surface layer of the skin and diffuses into the blood capillaries.

The new method, developed by a company called Oxford Biosciences, is painless and could overcome problems of needle phobia and cross infection, says a report in Pulse. It would be particularly suitable for people who have to administer their own drugs. The syringe could be mass-produced within five years.