Needle-Free, Inhalant Powder Measles Vaccine Could Save Thousands of Lives

Source: ScienceDaily


Researchers, led by Robert Sievers of the University of Colorado-Boulder Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, have developed the first dry powder inhalable vaccine to protect against measles. In a process called “Carbon Dioxide-Assisted Nebulization with a Bubble Dryer,” a weakened measles virus is combined with “supercritical” carbon dioxide to create a powder, which is then administered through a small plastic sack from which an individual takes a single deep breath in order to be immunized. The dry-powder vaccine could help vaccinate children in developing countries, where the absence of electricity, clean water, and sterile needles poses problems for traditional vaccines. The technology also could be used to create painless vaccines in the United States and other countries, targeting people who avoid vaccines due to a fear of needles. Sievers says animal safety studies will be completed this year, and human trials will commence in India in 2010.