Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientist Ana Jaklenec – one of the study’s authors – said the 3D printer could be transported to refugee camps or villages in remote areas to be used. “rapid vaccination of the local population” in the event of an outbreak.
A patch vaccine is currently being developed to prevent COVID-19 and a number of other diseases, such as polio, measles and rubella. However, the production of vaccines according to this technology is a process that requires a lot of financial and labor costs and often involves large machines for centrifugation.
To shorten this process, the researchers used a vacuum chamber to suck “ink” into the bottom of the patch mold, so that the ink reaches the points of the microneedle. The vaccine ink is made up of lipid nanoparticles containing the vaccine mRNA molecules, as well as a sugar water-like polymer.
Research shows that after allowing the patches to dry, the patches can be stored at room temperature for at least 6 months. In a more specific study, the results showed that the patches could be stored well at 37 degrees Celsius for one month.
Experiments on mice show that the patch vaccine can produce the same level of antibody response as the traditional injectable vaccine. Currently, intensive tests are being carried out on primates, and if successful, they will continue to be deployed to humans.
Robert Langer, co-founder of pharmaceutical company Moderna and one of the authors of the study, said each 3D printer can create 100 vaccine patches in 48 hours.
Meanwhile, chemist Joseph DeSimone of Stanford University (USA) assessed that: “With the ability to scale up vaccine production and improve stability at higher temperatures, mobile vaccine printers have could facilitate widespread access to the mRNA vaccine.”
With a more reserved attitude, Mr. Antoine Flahault – Director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) – said that “this could become a real breakthrough”, but the approval of the application and product Mass production of this technology will take years.