Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 5581–5588 | Cite as

An experimental study of a spring-loaded needle-free injector: Influence of the ejection volume and injector orifice diameter

  • Dongping Zeng
  • Ni Wu
  • Lu Xie
  • Xiaoxiao Xia
  • Yong KangEmail author


Needle-free injection is an alternative strategy to conventional needle injection in the field of drug delivery. This approach offers a number of advantages, especially in reducing complaints of needle phobia and avoiding the occurrence of accidental needle stick injuries. The ejection volume and orifice diameter are inherently important in determining the injection depth and percent delivery. In this study, we investigate the dispersion pattern of liquid penetration into gels and porcine tissues using a needle-free injector with ejection volumes of 0.05 to 0.35 mL and orifice diameters of 0.17 to 0.50 mm. In addition, the influence of the two parameters is analyzed quantitatively on the dispersion pattern through impact experiments and injection experiments. Furthermore, an equation of the jet power calculated by the ejection volume and orifice diameter is proposed to describe the delivery fraction of the injection experiments. Controls of the ejection volume and orifice diameter are demonstrated to help achieve a more effective injection process and a better injection experience.


Biomedical devices Fluid dispersion Jet penetration Jet power Needle-free injection Transdermal drug delivery 



Needle-free injection


The area of the nozzle exit section


Orifice diameter


Jet power at the nozzle exit


The total depth of the dispersion


The distance from the surface to the location of maximum width of the dispersion region


The distance of the injection region


The maximum width of the dispersion region


The width of the injection region


Volume flowrate


Injection duration


Average velocity


Liquid density


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This work was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program of China (grant number: 2014CB239203); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (grant number: 51474158); and the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province of China (Key Program) (grant number: 2016CFA088).


  1. [1]
    K. An, Y. S. Kim, H. Y. Kim, H. Lee, D. H. Hahm, K. S. Lee and S. K. Kang, Needle-free acupuncture benefits both patients and clinicians, Neurological Research, 32 (2010) S22–S26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    S. Mitragotri, Current status and future prospects of needle-free liquid jet injectors, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 5(7) (2006) 543–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    A. Arora, M. R. Prausnitz and S. Mitragotri, Micro-scale devices for transdermal drug delivery, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 364(2) (2008) 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    S. Mitragotri, Devices for overcoming biological barriers, The use of physical forces to disrupt the barriers, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 65(1) (2013) 100–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. [5]
    R. Portaro and H. D. Ng, Experiments and modeling of air-powered needle-free liquid injectors, Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 35(5) (2015) 685–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    A. Taberner, N. C. Hogan and I. W. Hunter, Needle-free jet injection using real-time controlled linear Lorentz-force actuators, Medical Engineering and Physics, 34(9) (2012) 1228–1235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    A. J. Taberner, N. B. Ball, N. C. Hogan and I. W. Hunter, A portable needle-free jet injector based on a custom high power-density voice-coil actuator, 28th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 1–15 (2006) 2531–2534.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    J. C. Stachowiak, M. G. von Muhlen, T. H. Li, L. Jalilian, S. H. Parekh and D. A. Fletcher, Piezoelectric control of needle-free transdermal drug delivery, Journal of Controlled Release, 124(1–2) (2007) 88–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    S. Mitragotri, Immunization without needles, Nature Reviews Immunology, 5(12) (2005) 905–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    D. L. Bremseth and F. Pass, Delivery of insulin by jet injection: recent observations, Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, 3(2) (2001) 225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    A. Mohizin and J. K. Kim, Current engineering and clinical aspects of needle-free injectors: A review, Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology, 32(12) (2018) 5737–5747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    A. B. Baker and J. E. Sanders, Fluid mechanics analysis of a spring-loaded jet injector, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 46(2) (1999) 235–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    G. Park, A. Modak, N. C. Hogan and I. W. Hunter, The effect of jet shape on jet injection, Proceedings of Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Annual Conference, 2015 (2015) 7350–7353.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    A. Schoubben, A. Cavicchi, L. Barberini, A. Faraon, M. Berti, M. Ricci, P. Blasi and L. Postrioti, Dynamic behavior of a spring-powered micronozzle needle-free injector, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 491(1–2) (2015) 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. [15]
    J.-I. Imoto, T. Ishikawa, A. Yamanaka, M. Konishi, K. Murakami, T. Shibahara, M. Kubo, C.-K. Lim, M. Hamano, T. Takasaki, I. Kurane, H. Udagawa, Y. Mukuta and E. Konishi, Needle-free jet injection of small doses of Japanese encephalitis DNA and inactivated vaccine mixture induces neutralizing antibodies in miniature pigs and protects against fetal death and mummification in pregnant sows, Vaccine, 28(46) (2010) 7373–7380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    J. C. Stachowiak, T. H. Li, A. Arora, S. Mitragotri and D. A. Fletcher, Dynamic control of needle-free jet injection, Journal of Controlled Release, 135(2) (2009) 104–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. [17]
    M. Moradiafrapoli and J. O. Marston, High-speed video investigation of jet dynamics from narrow orifices for needle-free injection, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 117 (2017) 110–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. [18]
    G. Zhang, I. I. Lee, T. Hashimoto, T. Setoguchi and H. D. Kim, Experimental studies on shock wave and particle dynamics in a needle-free drug delivery device, Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, 41 (2017) 390–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    J. Baxter and S. Mitragotri, Jet-induced skin puncture and its impact on needle-free jet injections: Experimental studies and a predictive model, Journal of Controlled Release, 106(3) (2005) 361–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    J. Schramm-Baxter, J. Katrencik and S. Mitragotri, Jet injection into polyacrylamide gels: Investigation of jet injection mechanics, Journal of Biomechanics, 37(8) (2004) 1181–1188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    J. H. Chang, N. C. Hogan and I. W. Hunter, A needle-free technique for interstitial fluid sample acquisition using a lorentz-force actuated jet injector, Journal of Controlled Release, 211 (2015) 37–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. [22]
    K. Comley and N. Fleck, Deep penetration and liquid injection into adipose tissue, Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, 6(1–4) (2011) 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. [23]
    T. P. Sullivan, W. H. Eaglstein, S. C. Davis and P. Mertz, The pig as a model for human wound healing, Wound Repair and Regeneration, 9(2) (2001) 66–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. [24]
    J. Schramm and S. Mitragotri, Transdermal drug delivery by jet injectors: Energetics of jet formation and penetration, Pharmaceutical Research, 19(11) (2002) 1673–1679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    D. P. Zeng, Y. Kang, L. Xie, X. X. Xia, Z. F. Wang and W. C. Liu, A mathematical model and experimental verification of optimal nozzle diameter in needle-free injection, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 107(4) (2018) 1086–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. [26]
    J. Schramm-Baxter and S. Mitragotri, Needle-free jet injections: Dependence of jet penetration and dispersion in the skin on jet power, Journal of Controlled Release, 97(3) (2004) 527–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    O. A. Shergold, N. A. Fleck and T. S. King, The penetration of a soft solid by a liquid jet, with application to the administration of a needle-free injection, Journal of Biomechanics, 39(14) (2006) 2593–2602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    T. M. Grant, K. D. Stockwell, J. B. Morrison and D. D. Mann, Effect of injection pressure and fluid volume and density on the jet dispersion pattern of needle-free injection devices, Biosystems Engineering, 138 (2015) 59–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. [29]
    W. Seehanam, K. Pianthong, W. Sittiwong and B. Milton, Injection pressure and velocity of impact-driven liquid jets, Engineering Computations, 31(7) (2014) 1130–1150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. [30]
    R. M. J. Williams, B. P. Ruddy, N. C. Hogan, I. W. Hunter, P. M. F. Nielsen and A. J. Taberner, Analysis of moving-coil actuator jet injectors for viscous fluids, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 63(6) (2016) 1099–1106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. [31]
    J. W. McKeage, B. P. Ruddy, P. M. F. Nielsen and A. J. Taberner, The effect of jet speed on large volume jet injection, Journal of Controlled Release, 280 (2018) 51–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© KSME & Springer 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongping Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ni Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lu Xie
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiaoxiao Xia
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yong Kang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Power and Mechanical EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Hubei Key Laboratory of Accoutrement Technique in Fluid Machinery and Power EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Hubei Key Laboratory of Waterjet Theory and New TechnologyWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations