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18th August 2015

A needle-free vaccine patch that’s safer and way cheaper

Vaccines are a base to medicine, just as the way they are placed in our body: with a needle and a syringe. It has been so for the last 160 years. Biomedical engineering in Australia stomped and decided it’s time for some high-tech in the field. Mark Kendall and his team took a next step which doesn’t only make vaccine delivery less scary and painful but also gives a more efficient and cheaper alternative: a tiny silicon patch.

A close up makes it way prettier:

It’s great that now we don’t have to overcome our fear of needles, but even more, here is why it is truly ground-breaking (and what you probably didn’t think of):

  • It’s much safer – cross-contamination can be crossed out

  • It is more efficient – the same immune response can be reached with 1/100th the amount of vaccine delivered; this is because the vaccine is delivered directly under the skin where there’s a huge amount of immune cells.  This means that previously expensive vaccines could be made more accessible.

  • Getting the vaccine from A to B is much, much cheaper. In the traditional form of injecting, the liquid vaccines need to be strictly refrigerated at all times. And it is quiet an issue; according to WHO estimates half the vaccines in Africa do not work properly because the vaccines are not kept at the right temperature at all times. In the nanopatch, the vaccines are dry, and therefore keeping them at a strict temperature is no longer necessary.

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