“It’s not like a shot at all. If I had to describe it is maybe like pressing down on the hard side of Velcro. It is like a bunch of little teeny tiny stick things that you can feel but it’s not painful,” the microneedle patches were described. “The results were great. We were pleased to see that the immune response was excellent,” Dr. Nadine Rouphael of the Emory University School of Medicine and colleagues wrote in the report.
Patches with influenza virus vaccine
Technically, the tiny needle-like points on the patch are made out of the vaccine itself. Pressed into the skin, the needles dissolve, delivering the dried vaccine into the outer layer of the skin. The trial showed that people could use the patch without any help. A larger trial will be necessary to demonstrate the efficiency of the method. Biomolecular engineering professor Mark Prausnitz of Georgia Tech revealed that the vaccine on microneedle patches stayed stable for as long as a year at temperatures up to 100 degrees F. Researchers think this is a really game changer and other important vaccines will be tested this way. “We haven’t yet met a vaccine we haven’t been able to incorporate into a microneedle device,” researchers said.