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Nanotechnology patch delivers vaccine 100 times better than needle and syringe
(Nanowerk News) New research, led by Professor Mark Kendall, from the University of Queensland's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, demonstrates that a vaccine delivered by a Nanopatch induces a similarly protective immune response as a vaccine delivered by needle and syringe, but uses 100 times less vaccine.
Being both painless and needle-free, the nanopatch offers hope for those with needle phobia, as well as improving the vaccination experience for young children.
"The Nanopatch targeted specific antigen-presenting cells found in a narrow layer just beneath the skin surface and as a result we used less than one hundredth of the dose used by a needle while stimulating a comparable immune response," Professor Kendall said.
"Our result is ten times better than the best results achieved by other delivery methods and does not require the use of other immune stimulants, called adjuvants, or multiple vaccinations.
"Because the Nanopatch requires neither a trained practitioner to administer it nor refrigeration, it has enormous potential cheaply deliver vaccines in developing nations," he said.
Professor Kendall said the Nanopatch was much smaller than a postage stamp and comprised of several thousands of densely packed projections invisible to the human eye.
The influenza vaccine was dry coated onto these projections and applied to the skin of mice for two minutes. "By using far less vaccine we believe that the Nanopatch will enable the vaccination of many more people," Professor Kendall said.
"When compared to a needle and syringe a nanopatch is cheap to produce and it is easy to imagine a situation in which a government might provide vaccinations for a pandemic such as swine flu to be collected from a chemist or sent in the mail.
Bill Gates Backs Vaccine From Human Sweat
Efforts to develop a vaccine triggered by human sweat, and to control mosquitoes using carnivorous plants, were among 78 science projects that won backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday...
Other winning projects include developing a low-cost cell phone microscope to diagnose malaria, using ultrasound as a reversible male contraceptive, insecticide-treated scarves and using imaging systems to seek and destroy parasites with a targeted laser vaccine...
One group of scientists in Germany will use their grant to develop nanoparticles that penetrate the skin through hair follicles and burst on contact with human sweat to release vaccines.
Grants will also help researchers investigate new ways to fight malaria: one team is trying to see whether treating traditional scarves worn by migrant workers along the Thai-Cambodia border with insecticide will reduce drug-resistant malaria; in Uganda, a team is testing the ability of insect-eating plants to reduce the number of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes.