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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

CRACK IT Challenge webinar: Sharp and to the Point - A precise, low dead space needle with improved animal welfare


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This webinar will focus on the development of the Precision Injection System by Active Needle Technology Ltd. The technology was developed to address the 2019 Sharp and to the Point CRACK IT Challenge, sponsored by AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Sheffield.

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The team at Active Needle Technology Ltd have developed a Precision Injection System to improve the preclinical injections of rodents, enabling high accuracy and precision injection leading to minimal loss of injectate.

Reuse of single-use needles in medical research involving animals is commonly done to reduce time and cost in large experiments and can result in a loss of sterility and increase in the likelihood of infection. The Precision Injection System encourages the use of new, sterile needles and reduces the time to inject in large cohorts. The technology almost eliminates dead space within syringes, greatly reducing waste, and allows easy needle exchange.

Refining the delivery of substances using single-use needles improves animal welfare by minimising pain that would come from reusing a dulled needle and reduces the risk of cross-contamination or the spread of infection from animal to animal. The Precision Injection System facilitates high-accuracy dosing to ensure the animal receives the specific dose, avoiding unintentional over- or underdosing.

This webinar is free to attend and will provide further insight into the Precision Injection System. You will hear from the product ambassador, the developers and a Challenge Sponsor. There will be an opportunity to ask questions to the speakers after the webinar presentation.


Dr Mike Irvine, Active Needle Technology Ltd: Mike Irvine has more than 30 years of healthcare technology development experience - he has  been instrumental in bringing a wide range of novel imaging, therapeutic, diagnostic and sensing devices to worldwide markets. Mike’s product development activities are complemented by his experience of business development and alliance management.  Mike holds a PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Manchester.

Dr Kate Shenton, Active Needle Technology Ltd: Kate Shenton is a life scientist specialising in in-vivo study support. She has 15 years’ experience supporting studies at AstraZeneca as an animal technician, NACWO and scientist, working with multiple species and across research areas including toxicology, reproductive toxicology, cardiovascular and oncology. She is passionate about the welfare and wellbeing of both the animals used in research and the people working with them.

Dr Joanna Moore, GSK: Joanna has worked with laboratory animals for over 25 years, in a range of roles across different sectors, she has always had a strong focus on welfare and enrichment, in 2018 she was awarded a PhD in Animal Sciences. The use of technology to refine our methods has been a focus of hers in recent years.

Dr Lucy Whitfield, University of Sheffield: Lucy is a laboratory animal vet, with many years' experience in both commercial and academic research settings and with a variety of species. With a passionate interest in education as a means of promoting and implementing the 3Rs, Lucy currently runs her own independent consultancy, providing veterinary services and training to the research community.


The Sharp and to the Point Challenge, sponsored by AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Sheffield and launched in 2019, aimed to develop a device that enables injections in rodents without losing material to dead space, allows needles to be changed quickly and safely between animals to ensure sharpness and sterility, and which prevents cross-contamination between animals.

Further information about Active Needle Technology and the Sharp and to the Point Challenge can be found on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform.

Certificates of attendance are available on request only to registered participants attending through their unique Zoom link.