Microneedle from Ohio State University consists of two needles that work together to reduce the pain inflicted during injections.


  • Reduced pain
  • Accurate


  • Drug delivery
  • Medical treatment

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

The Challenge

Needles are not a popular instrument for patients at the doctor’s office. From young children to older adults, many people do not like getting shots. Some people even have trypanophobia, the fear of medical procedures involving needles. Although brief, shots often inflict a jab of pain in the location the needle enters.

Innovation Details

The microneedle consists of two smaller microneedles that operate independently. The first microneedle is built to reduce the force needed to penetrate the skin. It has a stiffness gradient in which the tip is more flexible than the rest of the needle. This needle injects a local numbing agent into the skin. After the numbing agent is released, the second microneedle is inserted to either draw blood or inject the necessary drug, reducing the patient’s pain.

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Biomimicry Story

The mosquito punctures human skin to draw blood without the human even knowing it is happening. They do this using three techniques. First, upon insertion, they secrete numbing saliva. Second, the fascicle, or part that draws blood, vibrates when piercing the skin, reducing the force inflicted on the human. And third, the mosquito’s “needle” is serrated, which also, counterintuitively, makes the insertion easier and less painful for the human.