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The sight alone is enough to make some people faint. Needles, whether for administering vaccinations or taking blood, are far from everyone’s cup of tea.

But it could be so different – now that researchers have developed so-called microneedle patches.

The mini needles can be pressed into the upper layer of skin without reaching the nerve receptors.

Moreover, thanks to a new, highly sensitive fluorescent tag, biomarkers (which indicate values such as cholesterol or blood-sugar levels) can be detected at very low concentrations under the skin’s surface.

Receiving injections at the doctor’s could soon become a whole lot less fraught…

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