Mark Kendall thinks a fingertip-sized patch covered in thousands of vaccine-coated microscopic spikes is the future.
The nanopatch is designed to place a tiny amount of vaccine just under the skin without the need for a needle jab. Because it delivers the active ingredient right to where it is needed, tests have shown it can generate same immune response with only a fraction of the dose needed in a conventional vaccine.
And because it uses the vaccine in dried form, it does not need cold-chain refrigeration or trained staff to deliver it. [I]mmunologists have discovered that skin, unlike muscle, is rammed full of immune cells, making it a far more effective place to apply vaccines.
Also, while we don’t usually think of needles as being expensive, we use them in such huge quantities that it adds up – and the Nanopatch is actually cheaper than a needle.