New Microneedle Patch for Measles Vaccination Designed
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New Microneedle Patch for Measles Vaccination Designed

Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 10:15 Hrs
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WASHINGTON: A new 'game-changing' microneedle patch could make it easier to vaccinate people against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, scientists say.



Administering measles vaccine with a microneedle patch may be much easier than getting an immunisation with a hypodermic needle, according to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



The microneedle patch is designed to be administered by minimally trained workers and to simplify storage, distribution, and disposal compared with conventional vaccines.



The patch under development measures about a square centimetre and is administered with the press of a thumb.



The underside of the patch is lined with 100 solid, conical microneedles made of polymer, sugar, and vaccine that are a fraction of a millimetre long.



When the patch is applied, the microneedles press into the upper layers of the skin; they dissolve within a few minutes, releasing the vaccine. The patch can then be discarded.



"Each day, 400 children are killed by measles complications worldwide. With no needles, syringes, sterile water or sharps disposals needed, the microneedle patch offers great hope of a new tool to reach the world's children faster, even in the most remote areas," said James Goodson, epidemiologist from the CDC's Global Immunisation Division.



"This advancement would be a major boost in our efforts to eliminate this disease, with more vaccines administered and more lives saved at less cost," he said.



Getting the measles vaccine to remote areas is expected to be easier because the patch is more stable at varying temperatures than the currently available vaccines and takes up less space than the standard vaccine.



Because microneedles dissolve in the skin, there is no disposal of needles, reducing the risk of accidental needlesticks.



The measles patch is expected be manufactured at a cost comparable to the currently available needle and syringe vaccine.



Georgia Tech and CDC's Global Immunisation Division and Division of Viral Diseases recently completed a study that showed the new microneedle patch produces a strong immune response in an animal model.



No adverse effects or health issues were noted during the study. These findings have cleared the way for developing proposals for human clinical trials, which could begin as early as 2017.



The researchers are also testing if microneedles could be used to administer inactivated polio vaccine.



Researchers are also studying microneedle-administration of the influenza, rotavirus and tuberculosis vaccines.



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Source: PTI
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