New smart patch will deliver the COVID-19 vaccine and measure its efficacy through monitoring the body’s associated response.
Researchers at Swansea University have received £230,000 ($313,174) to develop the world’s first smart vaccine device that will both deliver the COVID-19 vaccine and measure its efficacy through monitoring the body’s associated response.
The research, from the Institute for Innovative Materials, Processing and Numerical Technologies (IMPACT), is to be funded by the Welsh Government Sêr Cymru funding program.
The team will use microneedles to create a “smart-patch.” This device will simultaneously measure a patient’s inflammatory response to the vaccination by monitoring biomarkers in the skin.
Microneedles provide a safe and effective method to deliver vaccines with added attributes of requiring lower vaccine doses, permitting low-cost manufacturing, and enabling simple distribution and administration. A microneedle delivery patch is easy to apply and minimally invasive – combined with the proposed measurement capabilities, this new vaccine system would enable a personalized vaccination approach.
Project lead Dr. Sanjiv Sharma of Swansea University commented, “Measuring vaccine efficacy is extremely important as it indicates the protective effects of vaccination on an individual via the level of reduction of infection risk in a vaccinated person relative to that of a susceptible, unvaccinated individual. This measure of vaccination effectiveness will address an unmet clinical need and would provide an innovative approach to vaccine development.” –MPO