Microneedles may be better for H1N1 delivery

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Researchers from Emory and Georgia Tech have found that H1N1 vaccines delivered via microneedles offer better protection than traditional vaccines. The findings were published online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The researchers administered the H1N1 vaccine to mice using either a microneedle patch or a subcutaneous injection. Both test groups were equally protected at the six-week mark, but the mice that got the microneedle patch still had a high level of antibody protection compared to the standard group. They believe this proves that the skin, rather than the muscle, offers a more efficient way to develop effective vaccines.

"Our research shows that skin-based vaccination, made possible through microneedle technology, may now be a viable and more effective alternative to intramuscular injection for H1N1 flu and other strains as well," lead researcher Ioanna Skountzou. Another researcher on the project, Georgia Tech bioengineer Mark Prausnitz, adds that microneedles offer logistical advantages because they're easier to manufacture, smaller to ship and simpler to administer.

- read the report for more

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