Students at Rice University are developing a new drug injector that will cool the skin before administering the medication. The team behind the project is calling it, for obvious reasons, Comfortably Numb, but the device is meant to be used by clinicians rather than habitual drug users.
The core of the unit works essentially like an ice pack, containing ammonium nitrate and water in separate compartments. When the device is activated, the two ingredients mix and an endothermic reaction cools down the flat metal tip of the Comfortably Numb. When pressed against the skin, the ice cold tip cools the injection site and makes it much less susceptible to pain.
As of yet, the device doesn’t have the actual syringe built in, and that’s the next step for the students. When that’s complete, the needle will be much less visible and should cause less fear in patients than a traditional syringe.
Here is the student team showing off and describing the Comfortably Numb:
Source: Rice University…