Nanoparticles and Microneedles for Painless Vaccinations

At Leiden University in The Netherlands, research is being done on making vaccinations easier and more effective. Currently, needles are commonly used and no one, particularly children, is happy about that. Microneedles patches have been developed in the past, but while they’re effective in some applications, they suffer from many limitations. At Leiden University one approach is combining nanoparticles, that are encapsulating a vaccine, with microneedles. This will hopefully result in high efficiency, general purpose method for painlessly delivering vaccinations.

It has been shown that properly constructed vaccine nanoparticles can result in a better immune response than delivering a naked vaccine. Since microneedles typically deliver smaller doses than injections, this works to the benefit of using nanoparticles.

The researchers used both hollow microneedles and microneedles coated with vaccines and tested them on mice. Turns out, one has to match the proper delivery method and type of nanoparticle with the disease being vaccinated for. In addition, hollow microneedles preferred smaller nanoparticles to deliver.

The researchers will continue looking for stronger and better immune responses to be able to create microneedle patches that are as easy and pain-free as bandages.

Top image: The four types of nanoparticles that Du used in his research. A: Polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) particles, B: mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), C: gelatine nanoparticles and D: liposomes. Side:

Via: Leiden University…



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