UTFacultiesTNWResearchDept CEMCSOpen student assignmentsWho’s afraid of the big bad needle? Let’s try thermocavitation.

Who’s afraid of the big bad needle? Let’s try thermocavitation.

Needles are frequently used for vaccination by injecting the drug formulation with a syringe. The fear to large needles (needle-phobia) is felt in all countries, where patients avoid the stinging moment of insertion of the needle in their skin or their babies.

We can make liquid jets with a laser similar to the pointers used for oral presentations.

At this point the jets travel up to 100 m/s and penetrate agar gel slabs, and in the future the skin of humans. The jet is made with a continuous-wave (CW) type laser, operating at infrared wavelengths (~790 nm) that “boil” a fast growing bubble in a dye-sensitized liquid, pushing the liquid out of its container. This phenomenon is known as thermo-cavitation.


We need to know more about the physical-chemical processes that take place when the laser boils the bubble. Which type of medicine can withstand the thermocavitation process and be injected in the patient without changing its therapeutic power? The activities will involve literature research, practical work will be important while testing laser pointers and drug formulations..


David Fernandez Rivas