Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed the MucoJet, a pill that blasts vaccines through the inside of the cheek without pain. The pill is a a 15 mm cylinder with a 7 mm-wide bulb on the end, and using it is a little like cracking a glowstick. A patient squeezes gently on the bulb to break a thin membrane separating two compartments: one filled with water and the other, a dry chemical propellant composed of citric acid and baking soda. After mix its fizzes up generating enough pressure to push on a piston in the cylinder, which forces a small reservoir of the vaccine out the other end through a small nozzle.
The jet is similar in pressure to a water pick that dentists use and the pressure is very focused, the diameter of the jet is very small, that helps to penetrate to the mucosal layer. The studies also found that increasing the pressure of the jet improved the efficiency of the drug delivery. The researchers say the data indicates that the immune response should be as good as using a needle. Along with taking pain out, the pill also reduces the biohazardous waste that comes from disposing of used needles and also eliminates the need of a medical professional on hand. The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, and the team describes the MucoJet in the video below.
Source: UC Berkeley