April 5, 2006
High-tech methods of vaccine delivery may make needles a thing of the past, if a Tulane University team succeeds in using nanotechnology that allows the absorption of vaccines through the skin. Tulane is slated to receive $2.3 million from the National Institutes of Health over four years for research into technology that will allow vaccines to cross directly through the skin barrier.
"Vaccine applications using nanotechnology have the potential to increase overall immunity, be more stable, last longer between production and use, and lower the costs of vaccination programs," says principal investigator John Clements, Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
Coinvestigators include Lucy Freytag and Louise Lawson from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Kyrkiakos Papadopoulos, Yunfeng Lu and Vijay John from the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department and Scott Grayson from the Department of Chemistry.
According to Clements the research will draw from the wide range of expertise at Tulane, from developing complex particles smaller than atoms to take vaccines across the skin, to novel ways to watch the delivery process using newly acquired high powered microscopy tools at Tulane, to cell and small animal studies and even further to primate studies.
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