Nanopatch could be the future of vaccines

id18659

Needle phobics rejoice: in the future vaccines may be delivered via nanopatches, tiny material patches already being trialled in Papa New Guinea.

The drug delivery method was announced by Queensland University biomedical engineer Mark Kendall at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, and could pave the way for safer, more efficient and more widespread vaccinations.

Drug delivery via needles has changed little in the past 150 years, and still carries risks associated with invasive procedures — for example, doctors being accidentally stuck with a used needle. Needles obviously have to be sterilised, and vaccines kept at cool temperatures to maintain their stability. The nanopatch, however, would mean vaccines could be distributed in rural regions with soaring temperatures without those same fears, and without risk of contamination. According to Kendall, it will remain viable even if kept at temperatures of 23 degrees celsius for a year.

Within the nanopatch are thousands of projections of dry-coated vaccines, Kendall explained at the conference, which means the drug goes straight to the cells under the skin, not via the muscle as with traditional vaccines.

Trials have already shown that administering flu vaccines to animals using the technique have proven to be more effective even at lower than traditional doses. In one trial, less than one hundredth of the normal dose was necessary to immunise the animal. Reaching the necessary cells faster means the overall drug quantity does not need to be as high, reducing production costs significantly.

“The projections on the nanopatch work with the skin’s immune system,” the BBC reports Kendall as saying. “We target these cells that reside just a hair’s breadth from the surface of the skin. It seems that we may have been missing the immune sweet spot which may be in the skin rather than the muscle which is where traditional needles go. A vaccine that had cost $10 (£6.40) can be brought down to just 10 cents, which is very important in the developing world.”

In 2010, a similar technique developed at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology showed that patches covered in “microneedles” would dissolve on contact after penetrating the skin. These too proved to be more effective than traditional methods when administered to mice, suggesting we’ve been stabbing ourselves in the muscle for years for no particular reason, missing what Kendall calls the “immune sweet spot”.

Although we’re at the early days of human trials, the nanopatch could herald a day of safe, cheap and efficient, self-administered drug delivery.

 

 

 

Source : Liat Clark, Wired.co.uk | June 13, 2013

Advertisements

About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
This entry was posted in Medical Devices, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s