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Edible vaccines stored in cheap, easily transportable dissolving films

Date: 11.3.2020 

Vaccines have become an indispensable medical tool that offer protection from an ever-increasing range of diseases, but these living strains of viruses need to be kept cool to be effective.

Kredit: The University of Texas at Austin.This is a real problem when it comes to distributing them to remote or developing areas, but a new delivery method from scientists at University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) could give these efforts a huge boost, preserving the live elements in a lightweight film without the need for refrigeration.

The trouble that comes from getting vaccines to remote regions and preserving them for safe use are such that research groups around the world are working to overcome them. Some promising solutions that could help save millions of lives include storing them in sugary gels, freeze-drying them so they can be stored at room temperature and putting them in a state of suspended animation. The government of Vanuatu is even looking into the use of drones to carry them over rough, unpaved terrain.

The thin film developed at UT Austin shapes as another exciting possibility. The scientists were able produce their novel vaccine delivery system cheaply and easily, taking inspiration from the way the DNA of some living things can be preserved for millions of years in amber. The team sought to replicate these storage abilities in a substance resembling hard candy, made up of different sugars and salts to form an amber-like material.





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