We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Vaccine delivery through tiny skin patches could revolutionise immunisation programmes in the developing world.

Scientists have developed a skin vaccination patch — Nanopatch — that is smaller than a postage stamp and uses 100 times less vaccine to elicit immune responses similar to those of traditional needle and syringe vaccinations.

Its efficiency arises because it targets a layer just below the skin's surface that is rich with cells that generate a protective immune response, say the scientists, reporting  in last week's PloS ONE journal (21 April).

 "Because the Nanopatch requires neither a trained practitioner to administer it nor refrigeration, it has enormous potential to cheaply deliver vaccines in developing nations," said Mark Kendall, a lead author of the report, from the University of Queensland, Australia.

"And the fact that we don't need to refrigerate it has huge implications — it's estimated that half the vaccines used in Africa are unsafe due to poor refrigeration."

The nanopatch works well in mice and the next step is to trial it in humans, so it will take at least five years before it reaches market.

Link to full article in Pharmacy News

Link to full article in PloS One