Single-injection for Several Doses

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Photo credit: Pixabay https://www.pexels.com/photo/addiction-aid-bottle-capsule-356054/

With advanced medical resources, most countries encourage their people to get vaccinated regularly. Some vaccines can give lifelong protection but some not. Regularly vaccinating is the only way for fighting particular diseases. You need to get several times of injections for lasting protection. Now, a research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology started to develop all-in-one vaccines, and they can give you lifelong protection.

Photo credit: retrieved from DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7447 (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6356/1138)

The research team has figured out an idea of making drug-carrying particles. The particles consist of silicon cube molds and form as a polymer which is already used in medical application. These particles carry multiple doses of vaccines and will release their loads after preset amounts of time so that they can be delivered over weeks and months. You can extend the time that the polymer breaks down in your body by choosing a different structure of the polymer.


Until now, the team is on the right track, but there are some problems they need to work out. “Vaccines are notoriously unstable,” says McHugh, a member from the team. Those particles can’t last long at our body temperature. And the size of the particles is too large to delivery into our body in the way we normally inject vaccine. They only can go below the skin but muscle. The team is already working on the smaller version of the particles; they are trying to halve them!


Some vaccines in the human body have “valid date”, which means its effect will no longer work after a period of time. The newly-developed particles can release doses of vaccines in different time – the first dose for the first month, the second dose for the sixth month! You won’t need to go to the hospital frequently for regular injection. Just get single-injection of the vaccines and have lasting protection against diseases.  

News reference: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2147453-plastic-cubes-injected-into-the-body-could-replace-booster-shots/

Journal reference: Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7447


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