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 user 2007-09-11 at 10:20:00 am Views: 39
  • #18727

    HP’s printers turn into drugs pushers
    inkjet tech seeks to replace hypodermic needles,What else can inkjet
    technology be used for? Injecting drugs into humans, according to

    company is licensing a medical patch it has developed to Ireland’s
    Crospon that potentially can replace hypodermic needles or pills for
    delivering vaccines or other types of medication to patients. The patch
    contains up to 90,000 microneedles per square inch, microprocessors and
    a thermal unit.Medications contained in the patch are heated and then
    injected through the needles. Processors can monitor drug delivery,
    deliver doses over extended periods of time or deliver drugs in
    response to a patient’s vital signs (e.g., blood pressure or heart
    rate), depending on how it is programmed.”You can have combinations of
    different drugs delivered at different times,” said Joe Beyers, vice
    president of HP’s intellectual property licensing group.Nicotine
    patches work by letting the skin absorb chemicals. By penetrating the
    skin with microscopic needles, the patch can, ideally, deliver dosages
    in a more controlled fashion.The technology and equipment used to make
    the array of needles was adopted from HP’s inkjet manufacturing, said
    Beyers. The heating element is also the same one used inside inkjet
    heads.Like IBM, Microsoft and others, HP is combing its patent
    portfolio for inventions it can license for royalties. So far, the
    effort is paying off. Although HP has to fend off more licensing claims
    than ever before, licensing revenue is up tenfold since the technology
    licensing group was started four and a half years ago, Beyers said.

    in 2005, Beyers said that HP garnered about $50 million a year in
    revenue from its technology portfolio when it started the group. That
    means that HP is around the $500 million a year mark for royalties. In
    late 2005-2006, the company was pulling in about $200 million a year on
    an annualized basis. (IBM makes more than a billion dollars a year in
    royalties.)Among other deals, HP has licensed technology for improving
    cell phone cameras to Flextronics. It is also trying to license a
    “crossbar latch” technology that it says could replace transistors in
    processors or memory chips.Roundup: Core competencies for chipmakers
    HP’s inkjet tech seeks to replace hypodermic needles Photos: PowerPod
    is green and mod Extra: Seven wonders of the IT worldCrospon was
    created around the idea of the patch. HP contacted Enterprise Ireland,
    an arm of the Irish government that seeks to help start-ups and
    incubate companies. Enterprise Ireland then put the company in contact
    with some investors.A relatively low corporate tax rate and a young
    population made Ireland a haven for multinational companies like HP and
    Intel wanting to set up factories over the past two decades. The
    government, however, has begun to encourage more locals to form their
    own companies to export technology, said David Smith, senior vice
    president of Enterprise Ireland.”We’ve got loads of college grads,” he
    said.HP has tested out a prototype of the patch, but has not performed
    animal or medical testing. Crospon will accomplish that.Researchers at
    the University of California at Berkeley and the Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology are also trying to commercialize new types of
    injection systems.