Image of the vaccine in 3D patch, released by the universities that have led the research.
The scientists of the Stanford University and the University of North Carolina They have announced what may be the beginning of the goodbye to shots in vaccines.
And it is that both institutions have created a 3D printed vaccine patch It provides greater protection than a typical vaccine.
The ‘trick’ is to apply the vaccine patch directly to the skin, “which is full of immune cells to which vaccines are directed,” they affirm from the university level.
Immune response 10 times greater than that of the prick
The immune response resulting from the vaccine patch was 10 times greater than that of a vaccine administered to the arm muscle with a needle stick, according to a animal study and published by the team of scientists in ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’.
The 3D printed microneedles are lined on a polymer patch and are long enough to reach the skin to deliver the vaccine.
Vaccination without needle stick, without pain or anxiety
The researchers have noted that “by developing this technology, we hope to lay the foundation for a even faster global vaccine development, in lower doses, without pain or anxiety, “said study lead author and 3D printing technology entrepreneur Joseph M. DeSimone, professor of translational medicine and chemical engineering at Stanford University and professor emeritus at UNC-Chapel Hill.
“The ease and effectiveness of a vaccine patch sets the stage for a new way to deliver vaccines that are painless, less invasive than an injection with a needle, and can be self-administered“have described its drivers.
According to the study, “the study results show that the vaccine patch elicited a significant antigen-specific antibody response and goal T which was 50 times greater than a subcutaneous injection administered under the skin “, and that increased immune response” could lead to a saving of doses, with a patch of microneedle vaccine that uses a smaller dose to elicit an immune response similar to that of a vaccine administered with a needle and syringe. “
Customizable microneedles for different pathologies
While microneedle patches have been studied for decades, the work of the Universities of Carolina and Stanford overcomes some past challenges: Through 3D printing, microneedles can be easily customized to develop various vaccine patches for the flu, measles, hepatitis, or Covid-19 vaccines.
Easier to transport and greater vaccination coverage
Another of the positive aspects that the researchers point out regarding this 3D patch is the fact that the patches that incorporate micro-needles coated with vaccine that dissolve in the skin could be sent anywhere in the world without special handling and people can apply the patch on their own.
Also, the ease of use of a vaccine patch can lead to higher vaccination rates.
How 3D patches are made
Overall, it is challenging to adapt microneedles to different types of vaccines, said study lead author Shaomin Tian, a researcher at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine of the UNC.
“These issues, coupled with manufacturing challenges, have possibly held back the field of microneedles for vaccine delivery,” he said.
Most microneedle vaccines are made with master templates to make molds. However, microneedle molding is not very versatile and drawbacks include reduced needle sharpness during replication.
“Our approach allows us Directly 3D print the microneedles, which gives us a lot of design freedom to make the best microneedles from a performance and cost standpoint, ”Tian said.
The team of microbiologists and chemical engineers continues to innovate by formulating RNA vaccines, such as vaccines Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19, in microneedle patches for future testing.
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