Microneedle Vaccine Patches: Microbial Minutes

Jan. 17, 2024

Scientists developed a printer that generates dissolvable microneedle vaccine patches. What are the implications for vaccine distribution and administration?

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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. 

Key Take-Aways

  • 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.  


The Study

Additional Sources

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Author: Madeline Barron, Ph.D.

Madeline Barron, Ph.D.
Madeline Barron, Ph.D. is the Science Communications Specialist at ASM. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.