Jet injectors: Perspectives for small volume delivery with lasers

Jelle Schoppink, David Fernandez Rivas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
712 Downloads (Pure)


Needle-free jet injectors have been proposed as an alternative to injections with hypodermic needles. Currently, a handful of commercial needle-free jet injectors already exist. However, these injectors are designed for specific injections, typically limited to large injection volumes into the deeper layers beneath the skin. There is growing evidence of advantages when delivering small volumes into the superficial skin layers, namely the epidermis and dermis. Injections such as vaccines and insulin would benefit from delivery into these superficial layers. Furthermore, the same technology for small volume needle-free injections can serve (medical) tattooing as well as other personalized medicine treatments. The research dedicated to needle-free jet injectors actuated by laser energy has increased in the last decade. In this case, the absorption of the optical energy by the liquid results in an explosively growing bubble. This bubble displaces the rest of the liquid, resulting in a fast microfluidic jet which can penetrate the skin. This technique allows for precise control over volumes (pL to µL) and penetration depths (µm to mm). Furthermore, these injections can be tuned without changing the device, by varying parameters such as laser power, beam diameter and filling level of the liquid container. Despite the published research on the working principles and capabilities of individual laser-actuated jet injectors, a thorough overview encompassing all of them is lacking. In this perspective, we will discuss the current status of laser-based jet injectors and contrast their advantages and limitations, as well as their potential and challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Article number114109
JournalAdvanced drug delivery reviews
Early online date6 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Needle-free microjet injection
  • Jet injection
  • Transdermal drug delivery
  • Optic cavitation
  • Thermocavitation
  • Bubble
  • Skin
  • Vaccine
  • Insulin
  • Tattoo
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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