Cambridge, MA – A new discovery could revolutionize the way childhood vaccines are administered, as engineers at MIT have invented a way for multiple doses of a vaccine or drug to be given over an extended period of time with only one injection.
The process involves the invention of a "new 3-D fabrication method that can generate a novel type of drug-carrying particle that could allow multiple doses of a drug or vaccine to be delivered over an extended period of time," according to MIT News.
This novel fabrication technique, called SEAL (Stamped Assembly of Polymer Layers), creates three-dimensional microparticles that resemble tiny coffee cups that can be filled with vaccines or drugs, which are sealed with a lid. The "cups," made of a FDA-approved biocompatible polymer, can be designed to degrade at specific times, spilling out the contents.
"We are very excited about this work because, for the first time, we can create a library of tiny, encased vaccine particles, each programmed to release at a precise, predictable time, so that people could potentially receive a single injection that, in effect, would have multiple boosters already built into it. This could have a significant impact on patients everywhere, especially in the developing world where patient compliance is particularly poor," Robert Langer, a noted chemical and biological at the David H. Koch Institute at MIT, said in a statement.