New invention promises reduced pain injections

A ground-breaking invention, which promises reduced pain for dental injections, has won a major national innovation award for its Newcastle University creators.

The special syringe cartridge works by reducing the acidity of the injection by mixing in a neutralising liquid just before the injection is delivered.

Invented by dentist Dr John Meechan (pictured) and his team of Chris Lawrence and Phil Harley, the syringe technology won the overall Dental and Oral Health section at The Medical Futures Innovation Awards. Medical Futures rewards new ideas in healthcare from frontline clinicians, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Dr Meechan said: “Injections need to be acidic so they can be preserved. But that creates a lot of the pain of the injection and with our device that would not happen. We are not claiming it will be pain free but a large part of the pain will be taken away.

“We are at a very early stage in the development of the product, but this award could be a real boost in our aim of getting it on the market and used by dentists around the world.”

Another team from Newcastle University claimed a prize at Medical Futures. Janet Eyre, Professor of Paediatric Neuroscience and Mrs Janice Pearse, Senior Research occupational therapist are co-founders of a newly-established company, Limbs Alive.

Their invention includes specially adapted controllers and a computer game for those recovering from stroke. Using wireless controllers, players work their way through increasingly difficult levels of the game while behind the activities are sequences of repeated movements which gradually improve the temporal-spatial movement of the patient.

Based at the Sir James Spence Institute in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, the pair claimed two prizes, the Best Innovation to Improve Patient Care in the Cardiovascular Innovation Awards and Overall Best NHS Innovation.

The award ceremony took place at Old Billingsgate in central London and was hosted by Rory Bremner, in front of an audience of 700 leaders in medicine, politics and business.

Medical Futures’ founder Dr Andy Goldberg OBE MD FRCS, consultant surgeon at London’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and a senior academic for University College London said: “Our winners were chosen by a panel of distinguished experts from thousands of entries and they deserve every success for their creativity, commercial viability, and most importantly potential impact on patients.”


published on: 27th July 2011