The 3D printed vaccine patch uses microneedle technology that is more efficient in dose usage and offers more protection than traditional vaccines.
Scientists have developed a three-dimensional (3D) printed vaccine
patch that is not just less painful and less invasive than a traditional vaccine
, but also provides greater protection than a typical immunisation shot.
A team at Stanford University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) in the US applied the vaccine
patch directly to animal skin in their tests. The resulting immune response from the patch was 10 times greater than a vaccine
injected into the arm muscle with a needle, according to the study, published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The technique uses 3D-printed micro needles lined up on a polymer patch that are barely long enough to reach the skin to deliver vaccine
"In developing this technology, we hope to set the foundation for even more rapid global development of vaccines
, at lower doses, in a pain- and anxiety-free manner," said lead study author Joseph M DeSimone, professor at Stanford University.
The ease and effectiveness of the new vaccine
may lead to a novel way of delivering vaccines
that is painless, less invasive, and can be self-administered.
Study results show the vaccine
patch generated a significant T-cell and antigen-specific antibody response that was far greater than an injection delivered under the skin.
This increased immune response could economise vaccines
doses, as a microneedle vaccine
patch uses a smaller dose to generate a similar immune response to a vaccine
delivered with a needle, the researchers said.
"Our approach allows us to directly 3D print the microneedles, which gives us lots of design latitude for making the best microneedles from a performance and cost point-of-view," said lead study author Shaomin Tian, researcher at the UNC School of Medicine.