Health in the future: mail-order dissolvable vaccine patches

A collaborative research study by Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University in Atlanta details a new way to deliver painless effective vaccines in the July 18 online edition of the journal
Nature Medicine.

Mark Prausnitz, a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, said in a Georgia Tech announcement on July 18, "we have shown that a dissolving microneedle patch can vaccinate against influenza at least as well, and probably better than, a traditional hypodermic needle."

The patch is one-fourth the size of a US penny with an array of dissolving "micron-scale needles carrying a vaccine" that can easily be self-administered.

"The skin is a particularly attractive site for immunization because it contains an abundance of the types of cells that are important in generating immune responses to vaccines," added Richard Compans, professor of microbiology and immunology at Emory University School of Medicine.

"Another advantage of these microneedles is that the vaccine is present as a dry formulation, which will enhance its stability during distribution and storage," said Ioanna Skountzou, an Emory University assistant professor.

The study's lead author, Sean Sullivan, explained, "we envision people getting the patch in the mail or at a pharmacy and then self-administering it at home, because the microneedles on the patch dissolve away into the skin, there would be no dangerous sharp needles left over."

The future of such a vaccine could impact developing nations, school programs and assisted living communities in avoiding a number of public health concerns.

Perhaps also possible in the future is a painfree ‘universal' flu vaccine if these researchers team up with the scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), working on a new all-in-one two shot could protect against all strains of influenza.

Full study, "Dissolving polymer microneedle patches for influenza vaccination": http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nm.2182.html
Full study, "Induction of Broadly Neutralizing H1N1 Influenza Antibodies by Vaccination": http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/science.1192517

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    £26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

    Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

    Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

    £25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

    Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral