Navigation Links
Flu vaccine given in microneedle skin patches proves effective in mice

Flu vaccine delivered through skin patches containing microneedles has proven just as effective at preventing influenza in mice as intramuscular, hypodermic flu immunization. A team of researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology believes the new microneedle skin patch method of delivering flu vaccine could improve overall seasonal vaccination coverage in people because of decreased pain, increased convenience, lower cost and simpler logistics over conventional hypodermic immunization.

The research will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Another study by the research team on a different influenza strain was described in the journal PLoS ONE.

The patches used in the experiments contained an array of stainless steel microneedles coated with inactivated influenza virus. The patches were pressed manually into the skin and after a few minutes, the vaccine coating dissolved off within the skin. The coated microneedle immunizations were compared to conventional intramuscular hypodermic injections at the same dose in another group of mice.

The researchers found that the microneedle vaccinations induced strong immune responses against influenza virus that were comparable to immune responses induced by the intramuscular, hypodermic immunizations. One month after vaccination, the researchers infected both groups of mice with a high dose of influenza virus. While all mice in a control group of unvaccinated mice died of influenza, all mice in both the hypodermic and the microneedle groups survived.

"Our findings show that microneedle patches are just as effective at protecting against influenza as conventional hypodermic immunizations," says Richard Compans, PhD, Emory professor of microbiology and immunology and one of the paper's senior authors. "In addition, vaccine delivery into the skin is desirable because of the skin's rich immune network."

Even though cutaneous immunization has been shown to induce a broad range of immune responses, and to be especially effective in individuals over age 60, this method has not been widely used because it has not been convenient and has required highly trained personnel.

"Unlike conventional hypodermic injections, microneedles are prepared in a patch for simple administration, possibly by patients themselves, and inserted painlessly onto the skin without specialized training," says Mark Prausnitz, PhD, professor in the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and co-senior author. "These micron-scale needles can be mass produced using low-cost methods for distribution to doctors' office, pharmacies and, possibly, people's homes."

Other advantages of the microneedle patches could include more convenient storage, easier transportation and lower dosage requirements. Lower doses could be particularly important because flu vaccine production capacity sometimes is limited for seasonal vaccine, and a future influenza pandemic would require much greater production of vaccine.

Replacing a hypodermic needle with a microneedle patch also could significantly impact the way other vaccines are delivered, and could be particularly beneficial in developing countries. A microneedle patch could fit inside an envelope for delivery by the postal service and would occupy much less storage space. Patches also would increase vaccine safety by reducing the dangers of accidental or intentional hypodermic needle re-use.

The project team plans future immunization studies in other animal models, including guinea pigs or ferrets, before initiating studies in humans. Also, more studies are needed to determine the minimum vaccine dose needed for full protection.

The Emory and Georgia Tech research team began developing the new microneedle vaccine patch technology in 2007 using grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The project team has extensive experience in microneedle development, influenza vaccines, vaccine delivery systems, product development and interdisciplinary collaboration.

In 2007 the NIH awarded a $32.8 million, seven-year contract to Emory, along with the University of Georgia, to establish the Emory/UGA Influenza Pathogenesis and Immunology Research Center. The center is working to improve the effectiveness of flu vaccines through a number of different projects studying how influenza viruses attack their hosts, how they are transmitted, and what new immune targets might be identified for antiviral medicines.

Prausnitz and his colleagues have been working since the mid 1990s to develop microneedle technology for painless drug and vaccine delivery through the skin. The Georgia Tech team has also developed manufacturing processes for microneedle patches and tested the ability of the needles to deliver proteins, vaccines, nanoparticles, and other small and large molecules through the skin.


Contact: Ashante Dobbs
Emory University

Related biology technology :

1. Global Experts Explore Entire Spectrum of Aids Vaccine Development
2. Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. to Present Data on Alzheimers Vaccine at 13th International Congress of Immunology Conference
3. MedImmune Licenses Reverse Genetics Technology to Novartis for Use in Influenza Vaccine Development and Production
4. Anthrax vaccine produces immunity with nanoparticles, not needles
5. FDA Approves ACAM2000(TM) Vaccine for Protection Against Smallpox
6. International Scientific Workshop Focuses on New Methods for Vaccine and Antibody Development
7. The University of Nottingham in the British Midlands Announces Development of Possible Hepatitis C Vaccine
8. Sanofi Pasteurs Investigational H5N1 Influenza Vaccine Achieves High Immune Response at low Dosage
9. Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. Obtains Validation of European Patent for Alzheimers Vaccine in 19 Countries
10. Carrington Subsidiary DelSite Biotechnologies Enters into Technology Evaluation Rights License Agreement for Transdermal Delivery of Vaccines
11. New nanoparticle vaccine is more effective but less expensive
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Jessica Richman and Zachary ... in their initial angel funding process. Now, they are paying it forward to ... early stage investments in the microbiome space. In this, they join other ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: ... speaking at the following conference, and invited investors to ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ... NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 ... Conference, New York, NY      Tuesday, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper is an essential ... bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million ... (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered ... the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 ... posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , with ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/4/2015)... York , November 4, 2015 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Home ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2022", the global home ... US$ 30.3 bn by 2022. The market is estimated ... forecast period from 2015 to 2022. Rising security needs ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) ... Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the ... and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has ... --> --> Synthetic biology ... potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, ... the explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the ... book, The Internet of Healthy Things ... or smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected ... health care delivery, moving care from the hospital or ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):