He created a small, clear plastic patch that is about a half a centimeter across and has 361 tiny, individual needles on it. The patch sits on the tip of your finger and only penetrates the top layer of your skin unlike normal hypodermic needles. The side with needles feels "rough" similar to the feeling of Velcro on the skin. Since they only contact the top layer, they do not contact the nerves and thus the individual feels no pain. Further, the needles do not go into the blood vessels and instead collect interstitial fluid which is sufficient for analysis.
This patch and microneedles can be used for drug and vaccine delivery at a lower cost. Since they are easy to administer and would require very little training, anyone could administer drugs and vaccines without risk or damage to blood vessels as normal needles do. These patches are would reduce the risk of diseases transmitted by repeated needle use since these patches are one time use. After one use, the patch becomes soft and cannot puncture skin again.
For use with vaccines, compounds of interest can be incorporated into the patches when they are first made and then slowly released into the body once they are in contact with interstitial fluid. Further, this patch could get rid of the nnecessityto refrigerate vaccines to prevent bacterial growth. The vaccines inside the polymer patches would be stable in the dry state. Vaccination campaigns could also improve with the use of this technology as it would reduce the costs and hardships of storing and developing conventional liquid vaccines.
The patches still need to go through clinical trials, but their potential could be revolutionary for health care.