The needle free vaccine, how Nanopatch works

Written by: Captain Skellett // April 22nd, 2010 // How Things Work, Recent Research

Nanopatches

Researchers from Queensland University have discovered a new way to administer vaccines, a Nanopatch. Smaller than a postage stamp, the patch puts the vaccine through your skin. No need for an injection.

So how does it work?

The Nanopatch is full of micro-nanoprojections containing antigen – part of the bacteria or virus you are immunising against. These nanoprojections puncture the skin and deliver the antigen into your epidermis. The puncture is a breadth of a hair deep.

In your epidermis are Langerhans cells, members of the immune system. Their role is to pick up antigens from infecting nasties, or in this case the Nanopatch. Once they have collected something, they physically move from the skin to your lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are the hub of the immune system. Once there, the Langerhans cells mature and display the antigen to passing naïve T-cells.

T-cells are specialised cells which specifically recognise one type of antigen. It’s like a policeman with a picture of just one criminal. A naïve T-cell doesn’t have a picture yet. It collects one from a Langerhans cell and other cells in the lymph nodes. With that the T-cell matures, looking out for the antigen. Next time it sees it, it will be armed and ready.

T-cells, along with B-cells, protect you from getting the same disease twice. T-cells in particular are needed to clear infections like HIV and malaria, and needle vaccines don’t stimulate them enough. The nanopatch focuses on T-cells specifically. It gives them their first look at the disease, without the pesky side-effect of getting traumatically ill.

According to Queensland University, the latest research shows that the Nanopatch can provide a similar level of protection to a needle delivery, but uses 100 times less vaccine. The Nanopatch is still being trialed on mice.

No more screaming kids on injection day isn’t the only benefit. The Nanopatch will be cheaper to produce than normal vaccines and doesn’t need to be refrigerated or administered by a trained nurse. Lead researcher Mark Kendall said “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.” It would be perfect for developing countries, where administering needle vaccines can be difficult and expensive.

ResearchBlogging.orgCrichton, M., Ansaldo, A., Chen, X., Prow, T., Fernando, G., & Kendall, M. (2010). The effect of strain rate on the precision of penetration of short densely-packed microprojection array patches coated with vaccine Biomaterials, 31 (16), 4562-4572 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.02.022

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google

   

4 Responses to “The needle free vaccine, how Nanopatch works”

  1. Lab Rat says:

    ooh, interesting. I’d heard of the concept before, but only in rather abstract thoughts, it’s great to hear it’s actually being trialed.

    Of course the main thing I’m interested in is: how much does it hurt? I’m guessing as the punctures are very small, it’s a lot less than a conventional injection, and as less vaccine is involved, swelling, inflammation etc will probably be decreased as well.

    They say it would be painless, as the needle doesn’t puncture to the depth where nerves are located.

  2. […] Flu makes a lot of us think of vaccines. Skellet, who captains A Schooner of Science, reports on The needle free vaccine, how Nanopatch works — welcome news to those who suffer from a phobia of needles! “The nanopatch focuses on […]

  3. yogeshwar gaur says:

    use of nanopatch are very easy. plz try and then tell me






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