Today’s Solutions: June 15, 2024

As we’re witnessing with the vaccination rollout for Covid-19, one of the main challenges facing vaccine delivery is creating a “cold chain” that ensures that vaccines are kept at the right temperatures along their entire supply chain. To address this, scientists from the University of Minnesota have developed a vaccine form that can be stored at room temperature.

Their solution consists of a dissolvable wafer that would also take pain out of the vaccine delivery equation by eliminating the need for syringes and needles. The new invention consists of a “polymer wafer” that dissolves under your tongue to deliver a vaccine to your body, requiring no refrigerators, syringes, or needles.

As reported by KARE11, although the research started prior to the pandemic and has so far involved protein-based vaccines, the scientists say that some further tweaks could allow the novel technology to be used with mRNA Covid-19 vaccines like those of Pfizer and Moderna.

“It could mean a tremendous benefit. Our vaccine, our wafers, we’ve demonstrated with HIV protein that it can be stably stored at room temperature with no need for refrigeration,” said Dr. Chun Wang, an associate professor at the U of M. “It cuts a lot of costs associated with refrigeration, and could mean tremendous benefit to people living in low-resource areas — not only in this country, but worldwide.”

The team behind the wafers is now working to get the support of private companies and government agencies to test the wafers on humans in the coming years.

Image source: University of Minnesota

Original study: Controlled Release — Sublingual delivery and preservation of protein vaccine without cold chain

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