Dissolvable Microneedle Patches Can Be Vaccination Game Changer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Nadine G Rouphael MD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Emory University
Director of the VTEU and HIPC networks at the
Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center
Decatur GA 30030, USA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this new technology and study? What are the main findings?

Response: Different groups including a group of researchers at Georgia Tech have been working on the microneedle technology for more than 20 years. The dissolvable microneedle patches are already used in several cosmetic products and drugs. However, vaccination with microneedle patches has been studied mostly in animals.

Our phase 1 trial published this week in The Lancet showed that vaccination with the microneedle patches was safe, with no related serious adverse events reported. Local skin reactions to the patches were mostly mild itching and faint redness that lasted two to three days. No new chronic medical illnesses or influenza-like illnesses were reported with either the patch or the injection groups. Antibody responses generated by the vaccine, as measured through analysis of blood samples, were similar in the groups vaccinated using patches and those receiving intramuscular injection, and these immune responses were still present after six months. When asked after immunization, more than 70 percent of patch recipients reported they would prefer patch vaccination over injection or intranasal vaccination for future vaccinations.

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Subcutaneous Solar Implants May Power Future Medical Implants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lukas Bereuter, PhD Candidate

University of Bern
ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research
Bern, Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Today, most electronic implants are powered by primary batteries. After battery depletion, the whole implant has to be replaced by a surgery. This causes repeated interventions in a patients’ life, which bears the risk of complications and is costly.

To overcome this problem, several groups presented prototypes of implants that are powered by solar cells that are implanted under the skin. However, precise knowledge of the actual light exposure and expectable power output of such an implant in everyday life was lacking so far. With this study, we investigated the real-life feasibility of a solar-powered implant for the first time.

For this, we developed portable light measurement devices that feature solar cells and continuously measure a subcutaneous solar cell’s output power. The measurement devices were worn by volunteers in their daily routine in summer, autumn and winter. The study showed, that subcutaneously implanted solar cells could generate enough power in everyday-life to fully power e.g. a cardiac pacemaker.

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