image via – unimelb

It is impossible to count how many lives have been saved by vaccinations. Until now however, we have had to recieve life saving vaccines via a needle (scary). Let’s face it, needles hurt! As adults most of us realise that the stinging sensation is well worth the benefits. Some adults and children do have great difficulty with needles and find them quite painful. This new technology has been designed to enhance the way vaccines are delivered and make the process more comfortable. The Nanopatch is a 1cm2 piece of silicon that has 20 000 micro projections on its surface.

The micro projections are invisible to the naked eye and when the patch is placed on the skin it delivers material to the immune rich cell layers. This is ground breaking technology which will revoltionise the way that vaccines are administered. It was developed at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. As well as being painless there are also other benefits of the Nanopatch which make it more viable than needle vaccinations. The Nanopatch is capable of delivering vaccine direct to the immune cells. When vaccines are administered via injection they are injected into the muscle. Muscles contain less immune cells. This means that the amount of vaccine required via a Nano patch is approximately 100 times less than what is needed for an injection.

The vaccine is dry coated onto the patch so no refrigeration is required during transportation. This is indeed a major breakthrough that can save lives. Refrigeration has been an issue when it comes to transporting vaccines to some areas. The production and transport costs are much lower.

 

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