3D-Printed Vaccine Patch Offers Better Alternative to the ‘Jab’

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Some people are terrified of needles, to the extent that they will avoid getting vaccinated. It should be noted that this is a nonpartisan condition. Researchers have come up with an alternative: A 3D-printed plastic patch made up of an array of micro-needles so small that the fear factor is held in check as the vaccine is delivered directly into the skin. Moreover, the researchers claim that the immune response is 10 times greater than with a vaccine delivered by a needle jab. While micro-needle patches have been studied for decades, scientists at Stanford University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said that their breakthrough came in 3D printing micro-needles on a polymer patch that are just long enough to reach the skin to deliver vaccine. 3D printing allows customization of the micro-needles for the development of various patches for flu, measles, hepatitis, or COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine patch is applied directly to the skin, which is full of immune cells that vaccines target. R

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