A new study could see the end of needles being used as a way of delivering anaesthetics to patients.
The study, from the University of São Paulo, found that a tiny electric current running through a gel, which sticks to the lining of the gums, can provide long-lasting and fast-acting numbness.
‘Over the last few years, our research group has been working on the development of novel drug delivery systems for the treatment of several skin and eye diseases,’ said Professor Lopez, one of the authors of the study.
‘The skin and eyes pose challenges for drug delivery, so we have focused on improving drug delivery in these organs using nanotechnology, iontophoresis and sonophoresis, which is permeation using sound waves.’
Dentists can give phobic patients a topical painkiller to reduce the pain associated with a needle, this can come as a hydrogel, ointment or spray.
In the study from the University of São Paulo, researchers looked for a more effective way of getting these topical painkillers into the body and they found that applying a cmall electric current can make the anaesthetics more effective.