New Antares Injector Simplifies Insulin Injection for Diabetics

DN Staff

January 21, 2009

2 Min Read
New Antares Injector Simplifies Insulin Injection for Diabetics

A redesign of a needle-free insulin injector reduced partcount and in the process also eliminated a lubrication problem and simplifiedthe supply chain.

"The main design challenge was learning everything abouteach of the 30 plus components – the specifications and quality requirements –that make up a completed Medi-Jector VISION," says Harlow Thielke, a qualityengineer at Minnesota Rubber and Plastics, which took over the project, replacing15 to 20 vendors supplying 39 different components.

Developed by Antares Pharma, Inc., the injector evolvedthrough seven major redesigns over a 20-year period, so managing vendorrelationships had been an ongoing challenge. Antares Pharma wanted to partnerwith a single manufacturer, and Minnesota Rubber and Plastics was chosen.

The Medi-Jector utilizes a spring to push insulin through amicro-fine opening in the tip of a needle free syringe. A fine liquid stream ofcorrectly metered insulin penetrates the skin instantly without using a needle.According to Thielke, the design drivers were comfort, convenience and ease ofuse.

The earliest version of the Medi-Jector was made of machinedmetal components and was twice the size of the new design. In addition to itsheaviness, the device was  difficult tolubricate and keep clean after repeated use. The current version eliminates thelubrication problem, reduces size and weight, and enhanced product functionwith medical grade plastic. Use of injection molding allowed more freedom into thedesign.

MR&P manufactures and assembles medical devices in Class 10,000 and Class 100,000 cleanrooms. Device designs include seals that isolate fluids, internal bosses foraligning actuating mechanisms containing washers and springs, and snap-fitdesigns that lock the assembly together without the use of adhesives.

Antares, which is based in Ewing, NJ,estimates the market for reusable, needle-free injectors at more than $1billion. Its Parenteral Medicines (device) division is located in Minneapolis, MN.Antares pioneered the development of needle-free injection systems forindividual use in 1979 and remains among the industry leaders.

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