|Plot element from the Star Trek franchise|
|First appearance||Star Trek: The Original Series|
|Created by||Gene Roddenberry|
|Function||Used to inject medication into a patient's body|
In the Star Trek scenario
In the Star Trek universe, the hypospray was developed by the mid-22nd century, as it is featured in Star Trek: Enterprise. Many people, such as Dr. Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager, are seen to use it.
The real-life jet injector is usually applied at the top of the arm, but the fictional hypospray is sometimes applied on the neck. Presumably when used in the neck it delivers the medication intravenously or intraarterially and when used on the arm it delivers intramuscularly. The hypospray can also be applied through clothing.
The hypospray is extremely versatile as the medicine vials can be quickly swapped out from the bottom of the hypospray. As the hypospray is bloodless, it is not contaminated by use. This allows it to be used on many people until the supply of medicine runs out.
The concept of the hypospray was developed when producers on the original Star Trek series discovered that NBC's broadcast standards and practices prohibited the use of hypodermic syringes to inject medications; the needleless hypospray sidestepped this issue. The prop used in the original series appeared to be a modified fuel injector for a large automotive diesel engine.
- See also Jet injector#History.
- 19th century: Workmen in France had accidental jet injections with high-powered grease guns
- 1937 or earlier: Jet-injecting was known of as a type of workshop accident with diesel engines' fuel injectors.
- 23 November 1947: "The Comic Strip Killer" episode of the radio show The Shadow aired. In it, a hypospray is mentioned, as working "on the basis of a high-pressure air gun. You hold it against the skin and it blasts fluid, painlessly, through the pores. The patient doesn't even feel the injection." The characters in the story were told that it was such a new device that the "first real publicity about it is in this week's Life Magazine".
- 1956: Jack Vance's novel To Live Forever was published: in it, devices called hyposprays are used as drug injection devices.
- 1960: A real working medical jet-injector was first patented.
- 1966: Star Trek: The Original Series started airing, but real jet-injectors were not yet in common use.
- 18 March 1967: The Mission: Impossible Season 1 Episode 24 ("The Train") aired, mentioning the hypospray. In it, Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) tells Dr. Selby (William Schallert) to "Get the hyposprays ready." The doctor mentions "the spray will go right through his clothing and penetrate the skin."
- 2 February 2004: The television show Star Trek: Enterprise Episode 14 of Season 3 ("Stratagem") aired. It used an almost identical ploy[clarification needed] to trick the antagonist of the episode.
In the real world
For examples of a real jet injector being called a hypospray: see Jet injector#Web pages using "hypospray" for a real jet injector.
Scientists at MIT developed a needle-free injection system in 2012.
High pressure air injectors have been used by the military as a common initial entry vaccination method since at least the mid 1980's. They require no sterilization between patients, speeding up the mass injection of many individuals. They were hooked to both a bulk drug supply, and a sterilized high pressure air supply (air compressor). Far from painless, they pushed in a portion of the skin similar to the action of a needle, instead of the fiction of seeping slowly through the pores. Unlike a needle, the hole did not close itself, and usually left a small, bleeding wound.
- Whitfield, Stephen E.; Roddenberry, Gene (1991) . The Making of Star Trek. Titan Books. ISBN 1-85286-363-3.
- "at". Healthfreelancing.com. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
- Vance, Jack. To Live Forever. Ballantine Books Year= 1956.
- Burnham, Ted (25 May 2012). "MIT Builds A Needle-Free Drug Injector". NPR.