Novel needle for intravitreal drug delivery: Comparative study of needle tip aspirates, injection stream and penetration forces

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Purpose: To study the efficacy of a novel needle for intravitreal injection (IVI) in comparison to the conventional needle under experimental conditions. Methods: The newly designed 30-gauge (G) needle (NDN) (EP 18158 542.3, patent pending) with occluded outer orifice and a side port for drug delivery was compared to the conventional standard hypodermic 30 G needle for IVI (SHN). An animal study to obtain needle tip aspirates was performed on 10 albino rat eyes. During IVIs, cellular content, which was cut by the needle tip, was aspirated. Cellular material was studied in regard to cell types and their quantity. The injection stream was studied using trypan blue dye in vitro and pig cadaver eyes. The penetration force was tested on polyurethane Testing Foil Strips PU 04 (Melab, Leonberg, Germany) by applying a velocity of 100 mm/min. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation matrices and t-test methods with p<0.05 as statistically significant. Results: Cytological analysis of the needle aspirates showed the presence of cellular content in each case. The amount of conjunctival, ciliary body epithelial cells and granulated basophilic protein sediments (sign of cellular damage) in the case of the NDN tips was significantly lower compared to the SHN. The average penetration force of the NDN was 0.791 N, and in the case of the SHN was 0.566 N. The injection stream study revealed a difference in the initial injection phase between the two needle types, although the diffuse filling of the vitreous area which surrounded the needle tip appeared to be similar. Discussion: The NDN demonstrated superior performance with regard to a significantly reduced number of cells being captured by the needle tip. Delivery of the injected fluid into the vitreous cavity was comparable. In order to investigate superior properties of the NDN needle design, further studies with improved prototypes would be necessary.




Lytvynchuk, L. M., Petrovski, G., Dam, A., Hiemstra, J., Wimmer, T., Savytska, I., … Stieger, K. (2021). Novel needle for intravitreal drug delivery: Comparative study of needle tip aspirates, injection stream and penetration forces. Clinical Ophthalmology, 15, 723–734.

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