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Allergy Treatment

<< 2016 Projects

Portable Epinephrine Autoinjector for Anaphylactic Emergencies


Need: A way to make an epinephrine autoinjector more portable so that individuals with allergies can have convenient access to an autoinjector in an emergency situation.

 

Abstract

Individuals with severe allergies are prone to anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction that requires an immediate dose of epinephrine. Anyone at risk for anaphylaxis should carry an epinephrine autoinjector, but many young adults complain that current autoinjectors are too bulky to carry comfortably. Because epinephrine must be stored within a limited temperature range, commercial autoinjectors have limited portability. To address these concerns, we analyzed the designs of different autoinjectors in order to find design elements that impact portability. We also surveyed 50 teenagers who suffer from severe allergies to determine their key complaints, and found that size and cost of available devices kept patients from carrying their devices. As a solution, we designed a card-shaped epinephrine autoinjector which uses a squeeze mechanism to force the needle and medication into a patient’s thigh muscle. The card also contains an allergy kit compartment in which users may store antihistamines and sublingual epinephrine tablets. As a result, patients will have access to a more portable and intuitive device. In future iterations, we hope to store the epinephrine in a powdered form. When the device is needed, a solvent would dissolve the powdered epinephrine, creating an injectable liquid. This decreases the device’s temperature sensitivity, and increases portability. We hope that our device’s increased portability will encourage more young adults to carry their autoinjector.

 

(Left to right) Raymond Fong, Saumya Bhatia, Alice Bian, and Charlotte Lewis worked on designing a more user-friendly and low profile epinephrine autoinjector. They developed a portable, card-shaped autoinjector and allergy treatment kit, which has a keychain attachment and is similar in size to an iPhone 5.

Click here to see the group's poster.