Research highlight

Skin patch delivers influenza vaccination

Nature Medicine

July 19, 2010

Influenza vaccination can we achieved using microneedle covered patches applied to the skin, as reported online this week in Nature Medicine. The study, conducted in mice, found that the microneedle patches were more efficient at clearing the lungs of virus and improved the immune system's antibody memory.

Traditional methods of immunization ― needle injection into muscle tissue ― face obstacles in the delivery system of antibodies. New methods strive to achieve high levels of mass immunization through enhancing patient compliance and reducing biohazard waste.

Mark Prausnitz and colleagues propose a simple and safe method for vaccine delivery by dissolving micron-scale needles onto a patch that painlessly pierces the skin and administers the vaccine. Since the skin is an active immune organ, it contains copious antigen-presenting cells. The authors found that in the mice tested with the patch, there was increased efficacy of vaccination towards influenza.

doi: 10.1038/nm.2182

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