Source: Health Europa
In a world first development, researchers are creating a COVID-19 smart vaccine patch that will deliver the vaccine as well as measure its efficacy.
The team at Swansea University Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies (IMPACT) will produce the COVID-19 smart vaccine patch through the use of microneedles (MNs), which will deliver the vaccine and also measure inflammatory responses to the vaccination by monitoring biomarkers in the skin.
The project is titled Smart vaccine devices for delivery of COVID-19 vaccination and is funded by the Welsh Government Sêr Cymru funding programme. The IMPACT operation is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and Swansea University.
The patch will use tiny microneedles which are designed the break the skin barrier and deliver medicines, providing a safe and effective method to deliver a vaccine. The design allows for lower doses of the vaccine which contributes to low-cost manufacturing and simple distribution and administration. The researchers say the nature of the design would allow for a personalised approach to vaccination.
Project lead Dr Sanjiv Sharma of Swansea University said: “Measuring vaccine efficacy is extremely important as it indicates the protective effects of vaccination on an individual via the level of reduction of infection risk in a vaccinated person relative to that of a susceptible, unvaccinated individual. This measure of vaccination effectiveness will address an unmet clinical need and would provide an innovative approach to vaccine development.”
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