Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Wearable Epinephrine Delivery Device

A team of students at Rice University are developing a small, foldable epinephrine delivery device that can be worn on the wrist, like a watch, or on other parts of a person's body. Unlike similar epinephrine delivery devices, such as EpiPens, that must be carried separately and may not be immediately available, their delivery device is designed to be available for immediate use in the event of an allergic reaction.  The device, named EpiWear, is low cost, fashionable, and is easy enough to use by everyone but small children. EpiWear works using a unique spring-activated injection system to provide a full dose of epinephrine to the wearer. 



“None of the compartments are linear, so the needle would be in one compartment while the spring is in another,” says Alex Li, junior bioengineering major at Rice University and part of the team developing the device.  “Even if the spring were to go off accidentally, it wouldn’t be able to push the needle. We also plan to have a case that goes around the whole device that will prevent the button from hitting anything and allow you to wear it comfortably without risk of triggering it accidentally,”


From the Rice University article: "EpiWear is designed to inject a dose of 0.3 milliliters of epinephrine, the same as commercial devices that contain more of the drug. When unfolded, the hinged device will be about the same length as the epinephrine pens on the market now, with the dose in the middle section and a strong spring in the top. Releasing a safety lever will allow the user to push a cap on top that, in the prototype, cuts a line and releases the spring, plunging the syringe into the user’s thigh."


Read more about the wearable epinephrine delivery device at Rice University