Toward jet injection by continuous-wave laser cavitation

Carla Berrospe-Rodriguez, C.W. Visser, Stefan Schlautmann, David Fernandez Rivas, Ruben Ramos-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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This is a study motivated by the need to develop a needle-free device for eliminating major global healthcare problems caused by needles. The generation of liquid jets by means of a continuous-wave laser, focused into a light absorbing solution, was studied with the aim of developing a portable and affordable jet injector. We designed and fabricated glass microfluidic devices, which consist of a chamber where thermocavitation is created and a tapered channel. The growth of a vapor bubble displaces and expels the liquid through the channel as a fast traveling jet. Different parameters were varied with the purpose of increasing the jet velocity. The velocity increases with smaller channel diameters and taper ratios, whereas larger chambers significantly reduce the jet speed. It was found that the initial position of the liquid–air meniscus interface and its dynamics contribute to increased jet velocities. A maximum velocity of 94 3 m∕s for a channel diameter of D = 120 μm, taper ratio n = 0.25, and chamber length E = 200 μm was achieved. Finally, agarose gel-based skin phantoms were used to demonstrate the potential of our devices to penetrate the skin. The maximum penetration depth achieved was ∼1 mm, which is sufficient to penetrate the stratum corneum and for most medical applications. A meta-analysis shows that larger injection volumes will be required as a next step to medical relevance for laser-induced jet injection techniques in general.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105003
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number10
Early online date13 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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