Skin patch promising for vaccination

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What comes to your mind, when you think about vaccination?  Well, it reminds me of syringe filed with some liquid.  Vaccination time is not a fun time for many people, especially due to the fear of needle poking through your skin. Researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology invented a patch that has capability to deliver vaccine to your body.  Just put the patch on your body like shoulder and the vaccine will be delivered to your body.  Yes, it is that simple!!  The study results were published in Nature Medicine.

What is this patch and how does it work?
The patch developed by the researchers

  • has hundreds of micro-needles, which are 0.65 mm in length
  • the micro-needles contain the vaccine
  • patch is applied to your skin and needle penetrate the skin
  • needles are designed to dissolve in skin over time

Co-author, Professor Richard Compans from Emory University Medical School, said “the vaccine does not have to penetrate deeply because there are immune cells present just below the surface of the skin.”

Do we have any data on effectiveness of patch?
Researchers conducted an experiment on mice by using patch and influenza vaccine.  The study involved:

  • Three groups of mice; one received vaccine using conventional hypodermic needles, other one received by the patch and one group received the patch with no vaccine.
  • After three months, mice with the patch exhibited better immune response to flu virus than mice receiving standard vaccination.

 

What are the main advantages of patch?
No need of fear needles

  • Painless procedure, no poking
  • No need to go to clinic...



    or hospital, do it yourself
  • Potential to simplify large scale vaccination during pandemic
  • Reduces waste and danger of sharp needle leftovers

Sean Sullivan, the study lead from Georgia Tech said that “We envision people getting the patch in the mail or at a pharmacy and then self-administering it at home.”

Although the study was conducted on influenza vaccine only, there is no reason to believe that other vaccines should be compatible to the patch.  Researchers acknowledge that they would like to conduct studies on human within next couple of years. 

I think researchers have found a simple way to deliver vaccines.  Another good thing is, like Band-Aid for kinds, which comes in their favorite cartoon characters, you should design and package patches in similar fashion.  So that whenever it is time for vaccination, instead of running away, your child will be excited to patch it on.

 Source: bbcnews

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