Nanopatch: Syringe and needle replacement unveiled at TEDGLobal Conference

June 14, 2013 by Bob Yirka report
Nanopatch: Syringe and needle replacement unveiled at TEDGLobal Conference
The Nanopatch

(Medical Xpress)—Professor Mark Kendall of the University of Queensland, Australia, has announced at this year's TEDGLobal Conference that a skin patch he and colleagues have developed will soon begin field testing in New Guinea. The Nanopatch, as it's been named, is used as a replacement for the traditional method of administering vaccines—injection with needle and syringe.

Currently a vaccine is injected into muscle tissue where it encounters , triggering a response. In contrast, the Nanopatch, which has thousands of projections on the skin side, injects the vaccine just under the skin, where Kendall notes, there are more immune cells. This means, he added, that less vaccine is needed to accomplish the same goal which in turn means each dose would cost far less.

One of the major problems with current injectable vaccines is that they are water based, which means they have be kept chilled to prevent . This can be a major problem for vaccination programs in areas where there is limited refrigeration facilities. Kendall cited recent reports that suggest up to half of the vaccines administered in Africa don't work properly due to refrigeration issues. With the Nanopatch, the vaccine is dry, thus it doesn't have to be kept chilled. Each patch is silicone based and has 20,000 micro-sized projections on its underside that deliver the vaccine—it's smaller than a typical postage stamp. Because the projections are so small, they cannot be felt piercing the skin, making the application of the vaccine completely painless. Thus far, testing of the Nanopatch by the development team has involved administering the to volunteers.

Kendall and his colleagues are working with Vaxxas, a newly created company whose mission is to commercialize the Nanopatch. They plan to begin field trials of the patch as soon as possible in where HPV rates (along with ) are the highest in the world. Not coincidently, the country also has very few refrigeration facilities making it an ideal candidate for testing the new patch.

Kendall added that another advantage of the nanopatch is that it requires the use of much less adjuvants—chemicals added to vaccines to provoke a better immune response. Some of these adjuvants have been suspected of causing health problems, and in some cases autism, though no proof has ever been found. Looking ahead, Kendall said he believes the Nanopatch will soon become available for use against malaria infections as well.

Explore further: Merck partnership accelerates needle-free vaccine delivery

Related Stories

Merck partnership accelerates needle-free vaccine delivery

October 9, 2012
A University of Queensland invention that will deliver vaccines without the need for needles has struck a significant partnership with US-based pharmaceutical giant Merck, announced today.

Injection-free vaccination technique could address global vaccine challenge for HIV, malaria

February 4, 2013
Scientists at King's College London have demonstrated the ability to deliver a dried live vaccine to the skin without a traditional needle, and shown for the first time that this technique is powerful enough to enable specialised ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests ending opioid epidemic will take years

July 20, 2017
The question of how to stem the nation's opioid epidemic now has a major detailed response. A new study chaired by University of Virginia School of Law Professor Richard Bonnie provides extensive recommendations for curbing ...

Team-based model reduces prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent

July 17, 2017
A new, team-based, primary care model is decreasing prescription opioid use among patients with chronic pain by 40 percent, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine, which ...

Private clinics' peddling of unproven stem cell treatments is unsafe and unethical

July 7, 2017
Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this week's paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, ...

Popular heartburn drugs linked to higher death risk

July 4, 2017
Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School ...

Most reproductive-age women using opioids also use another substance

June 30, 2017
The majority of reproductive-age and pregnant women who use opioids for non-medical purposes also use at least one other substance, ranging from nicotine or alcohol to cocaine, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate ...

At-risk chronic pain patients taper opioids successfully with psychological tools

June 28, 2017
Psychological support and new coping skills are helping patients at high risk of developing chronic pain and long-term, high-dose opioid use taper their opioids and rebuild their lives with activities that are meaningful ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.