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NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research
CRACK IT Challenge

Sharp and to the Point: Developing a device for injections in mice that avoids the re-use of needles

A white mouse being held by a hand wearing a blue glove

At a glance

Award date
March 2020 - May 2021
Contract amount


  • Refinement



Single-use disposable needles are often used throughout medical research involving animals for injecting substances or for collecting blood samples. Sometimes needles are re-used to reduce time and cost because of the involvement of large numbers of mice and/or expensive test material. However, the re-use of needles results in a loss of sterility and can increase the risk of infection and disease transmission between individual animals and between cages. Re-use also risks dulling of the needle, potentially increasing the pain and discomfort associated with subsequent injections. These concerns create confounding and unnecessary variables which can impact the quality of scientific data collected.

To address the Challenge, Active Needle Technology Ltd aim to develop a device using ultrasonic technology which minimises loss of material to dead space and improves animal welfare.

Full details of the Challenge can be found on the Innovation Platform.