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3D-Printed Vaccine Patch Offers Vaccination Without a Shot

By University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

September 27, 2021

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Scientists at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) have engineered a three-dimensionally (3D)-printed vaccine patch that offers more protection than a typical shot in the arm.

The microneedle-studded polymer patch is applied directly to the skin, with a resulting 10-fold greater immune response and a 50-fold greater T-cell and antigen-specific antibody response compared to injection.

UNC's Shaomin Tian said the microneedles are 3D-printed, which makes it easy to design patches specifically for flu, measles, hepatitis, or COVID-19 vaccines.

Entrepreneur Joseph M. DeSimone said, "In developing this technology, we hope to set the foundation for even more rapid global development of vaccines, at lower doses, in a pain- and anxiety-free manner."

From University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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