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article imageStartup develops nanopatch for polio vaccine delivery

By Tim Sandle     Oct 8, 2017 in Science
To help eliminate polio, a Nanopatch (a microscopic vaccine delivery platform) has been shown to be more effective for dealing with the poliovirus than needles and syringes. The patch comes from a university startup called Vaxxas Pty Ltd.
News of the nanopatch was reported by Digital Journal back in 2014 ("New nanopatch can be used against polio"); here the technology, which involves thousands of small projections designed to deliver the vaccine painlessly to the skin, was described. At this stage, however, the nanopatch was a proof-of-concept device and had no been tested with the vaccine.
This has now changed with the aid of a grant from the World Health Organization and following a series of experimental trials. The grant was awarded to the University of Queensland startup Vaxxas Pty Ltd., headed by Professor Paul Young. The grant was used to further develop the technology. The nanopatch array is a one centimeter square surface of silicon with around 20,000 microprojections on its surface. These projections are invisible to the naked eye.
With the technology established, a study was conducted to test the nanopatch enhanced responses to all three types of inactivated poliovirus vaccines. This was reported as successful and represents a key step towards the use of the nanopatch to replace the current live oral vaccine. The reason why the patch is more efficient than the traditional vaccine is because it targets the immune cell populations in the skin's outer layers instead of muscle (as with an injection). This creates a more efficient vaccine delivery system.
The new research highlight what can be achieved with biotechnology innovation. The research has been published in the journal Scientific Reports, with the research paper titled "High-density microprojection array delivery to rat skin of low doses of trivalent inactivated poliovirus vaccine elicits potent neutralising antibody responses."
More about nanopatch, Drug delivery, Needles, Vaccine, Polio
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