Microneedle Vaccine Patches: Microbial Minutes
Scientists developed a printer that generates dissolvable microneedle vaccine patches. What are the implications for vaccine distribution and administration?
What's Hot in the Microbial Sciences?What if there was a way to get a vaccine without getting a shot? With dissolvable microneedle vaccine patches, there is. These vaccines consist of tiny structures (known as microneedles) that dissolve when they enter the skin, releasing an antigen that then triggers an immune response. Recently, scientists developed a printer for microneedle patches that uses “ink” containing mRNA nanoparticles targeting a component of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. What are the potential applications for vaccine delivery? Key take-aways and resources used in this Microbial Minutes are listed below.
- Researchers developed a printer capable of producing 100 thermostable mRNA microneedle vaccine patches in 48 hours.
- The microneedle vaccines triggered a similarly robust antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 in mice compared to mRNA lipid nanoparticle vaccines administered via intramuscular injection.
- The printer could facilitate delivery of mRNA vaccines in areas with a lack of robust cold-chain-compatible storage and transport resources, allowing for greater vaccine dissemination.
- With additional optimization, the microneedle vaccine printer could be deployed where and when needed to help combat outbreaks of diverse diseases.
- vander Straeten, A., et al. A microneedle vaccine printer for thermostable COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Nature Biotechnology, April 24, 2023.
- Bridgewater, H. Vaccines Delivered via Dissolvable Skin Patches. American Society for Microbiology, Dec. 14, 2022.
- Frew M.P., et al. Acceptability of an Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Delivered by Microneedle Patch: Results from a Phase I Clinical Trial of Safety, Reactogenicity, and Immunogenicity. Vaccine, Oct. 21, 2020.
- Trafton, A. Vaccine Printer Could Help Vaccines Reach More People. MIT News, April 24, 2023.
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