Researchers develop a dissolvable needle-free Nanopatch for vaccine delivery

Jul 23, 2010

University of Queensland research has found the Nanopatch - a needle-free, pain-free method of vaccine delivery - is now dissolvable, eliminating the possibility of needle-stick injury.

Project leader Professor Mark Kendall, from the Australian Institute for and Nanotechnology, said the finding confirmed that the Nanopatch was a potential safer, cheaper alternative to needle vaccines.

The study was published recently in scientific journal Small.

“What we have been able to show for the first time is that the Nanopatch is completely dissolvable,” Professor Kendall said.

“That means zero needles, zero sharps, zero opportunity for contamination and zero chance of needle-stick injury.

“The estimates that 30 percent of vaccinations in Africa are unsafe due to cross contamination caused by needle-stick injury. That's a healthcare burden of about $25 per administration.”

The Nanopatch is smaller than a postage stamp and is packed with thousands of tiny projections - invisible to the human eye - now dried to include the itself together with biocompatible excipients.

When the patch is placed against the skin, these projections push through the outer skin layer and deliver the to the .

When dry, the device is stable and strong. When the Nanopatch is applied to the skin, the projections immediately become wet, dissolving within minutes.

Research published in journal in April found that the Nanopatch achieved a protective immune response using an unprecedented one-hundredth of the standard needle and syringe dose.

Professor Kendall said this was 10 times better than any other delivery method.

Being both painless and needle-free, the Nanopatch offers hope for those with needle phobia, as well as improving the vaccination experience for young children.

"When compared to a needle and syringe, a Nanopatch is cheap to produce and it is easy to imagine a situation in which a Government might provide vaccinations for a pandemic such as swine flu to be collected from a chemist or sent in the mail,” Professor Kendall said.

He said the work had been in progress for five years and his team hoped to start clinical trials soon.

The study was conducted using influenza vaccine but Professor Kendall said any vaccine could potentially be delivered via the Nanopatch.

Also published in a separate paper in Small is research showing the Nanopatch's success extends to candidate vaccines for West Nile virus and Chukunga virus.

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tarheelchief
not rated yet Jul 23, 2010
Would this work for diabetics?
DaveGee
not rated yet Jul 24, 2010
Insulin? Maybe... From the types of drugs deployed they all seem to be of a simple subcutaneous type ... The good news is lots and lots a and lots of injections are of this type. Most (all?) chikdhood vaccines, mumps, chicken-pocks, etc. Insulin, vitamin B and even the shot I have to take 2x a day, forever, lovenox (sp?) are all subq injections. So it's a good chance they are all suitable candidates. However the chemical makeup might also play a role. For example, the vit b shot that I get each month is a cakewalk for me I'm so numb from injections I can't even feel them anymore. On the other hand the lov shots I give myself are VERY thick and sometimes you can feel the ball of medicine as a bug lump in my belly and/or legs so perhaps my LOV may not be a suitable candidate.

Either way this is welcome news for everyone and may put an end to children needle gathering that's become a huge problem in many parts of the world.