This image, captured by Peter DeMuth of the Hammond and Irvine Labs at the Koch Institute, shows tiny needles designed to painlessly deliver vaccines into the skin.
Irvine and Hammond Labs, Koch Institute
Scanning Electron Micrograph
These biodegradable microneedles, each less than a millimeter tall, could be coated or embedded with vaccines and applied to the skin as a patch. The needles would penetrate the highly immunoactive outer layers of the skin but not the deeper layers containing nerves and blood vessels, making them painless, safe and potent.
Peter DeMuth explains how and why he captured this image of a microneedle array.