Nanopatch: Syringe and needle replacement unveiled at TEDGLobal Conference

June 14, 2013 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress 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

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...


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.