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3D printed Microneedle vaccine patches for emerging infectious diseases


   School of Pharmacy

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  Prof Dimitrios Lamprou  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Microneedles, it can be used to administer a variety of vaccine types, including protein, peptide, and nanoparticle vaccines. 3D printing, due to its small size, affordable prices, and convenience, can be used to produce systems in any environment including hospitals and pharmacy stores, avoiding any supply chain issues. 

Vaccination is an essential public health measure for infectious disease prevention, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been a reminder of the difference made with a timely vaccination. The process of vaccination is not as simple as sounds; are issues that can hinder mass vaccination, including the need to train professionals to give the shots. Microneedles (MNs) are small micron sized needles, applied to the skin like a patch, the micron-sized protrusions pierce the skin and molecules delivered through the pores created; the dermal nerves and pain receptors are not reached allowing pain free delivery. MNs classed as minimally invasive, and thus will not require medical supervision. Most MNs fabricated with master templates to make moulds; however, the MNs moulding is not very adaptable, and needle sharpness can reduced. MNs can be 3D printed and deliver molecules using dissolved or hollow MNs. This makes them ideal for the delivery of vaccines at an affordable cost. During a pandemic, the cost and time production of devices are important variables.

The aim of this PhD project, which includes materials characterisation, computational modelling, in vitro and in vivo evaluation, is to develop the new generation MN systems for the delivery of vaccines. 

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