A June 30th article from Science Friday reported on the latest in innovative vaccines: a dissolvable microneedle patch for influenza. The Band-Aid-like patch is applied to the skin and delivers vaccines through roughly a hundred dissolvable microneedles. The needles push the vaccine agents past the protective barrier of the skin and feel “something like pressing Velcro against your skin,” according to Mark Prausnitz, co-author of the study and chemical and biomolecular engineering professor at Georgia Tech.
The patches elicit a similar immune response to traditional injections, but with easier compliance for the user. The vaccines remain potent in the patches without refrigeration for at lest a year and can be easily self-administered at home and safely discarded since the microneedles dissolve away. The patches were designed at Georgia Tech and manufactured by the Global Center for Medical Innovation in Atlanta. You can watch a video on the patch here.