Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dermal patches with microneedles prove effective for flu vaccines

Researches at Emory and Georgia Tech have shown that skin patches with flu vaccine coated microneedles are just as effective at immunizing mice as conventional, intravascular needles.  In the study, one group of mice were immunized using the patches while another was immunized using hypodermic needles.  One month after vaccination, the researchers exposed the two groups as well as another group of unvaccinated mice to a large dose of influenza virus.  While all unvaccinated mice died, all mice that were vaccinated with either method survived.  

The advantages to the microneedle patches include lower costs of storage and transportation, ease of delivery, and lower dose requirements.  This method of delivery is especially promising in the developing world where there is a great demand for vaccines that are efficiently packaged and require no training to deliver.  Emory and the University of Georgia have recently been awared a multimillion dollar NIH contract to establish an Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center.  


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