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Nanopatch Delivers Polio Vaccine Better than a Syringe

Efforts to rid the world of polio have taken another significant step with a fresh study showing that the Nanopatch™ – a microscopic vaccine delivery platform first developed by University of Queensland researchers – combats poliovirus more effectively than needles and syringes.

Head of UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Prof Paul Young, said the breakthrough provided the next step in consigning polio to history. “Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century, resulting in limb disfigurement and irreversible paralysis in tens of millions of cases,” he said. “This most recent study showed the Nanopatch enhanced responses to all three types of inactivated poliovirus vaccines (IPV) – a necessary advancement from using the current live oral vaccine.”

Prof Mark Kendall said the Nanopatch “targets the abundant immune cell populations in the skin’s outer layers, rather than muscle, resulting in a more efficient vaccine delivery system. The ease of administration, coupled with dose reduction observed in this study, suggests that the Nanopatch could facilitate inexpensive vaccination of inactivated poliovirus vaccines.”

Dr David Muller of the Australian Institute for Biotechnology and Nanotechnology said effectively translating the dose could dramatically reduce the cost. “A simple, easy-to-administer polio Nanopatch vaccine could increase the availability of the IPV vaccine and facilitate its administration in door-to-door and mass vaccination campaigns. As recently as 1988, more than 350,000 cases occurred every year in more than 125 endemic countries.

“Concerted efforts to eradicate the disease have reduced incidence by more than 99%. Efforts are being intensified to eradicate the remaining strains of transmission once and for all.”

The research has been published in Scientific Reports.