Improving a vaccine delivery system for COVID and beyond

Improving a vaccine delivery system for COVID and beyond

COVID-19 Vaccine
Source: College of Engineering CMU

The Richard King Mellon Foundation has subsidized researchers at Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine for developing and testing a novel microneedle array platform which transfers medication into the patient’s body with the essential objective in enhancing of COVID-19 treatment to the ever-changing world.

This project was run by Burak Ozdoganlar, professor of mechanical engineering at CMU and associate director of the Engineering Research Accelerator, and Paul Duprex, director of Pitt’s Center for Vaccine Research. The aim of work particularly emphasizes potential intradermal delivery of live-attenuated virus-basedCOVID-19 vaccination.

The ongoing dissolvent microneedle array technologies aren’t suitable to transport live, weakened virus vaccines as the invention and disinfectant might be fragile vaccines which means it’s not survivable to reform in the human body, providing the immune system responses more delicate.

Fabricated-Hybrid-Microneedle-Arrays attached to a syringe with an adaptor
Source: Burak Ozdoganlar, College of Engineering

Ozdoganlar—is a world specialist on developing microneedle array technology—has improved hybrid microneedles that can be loaded with vaccination for pain-free transfer into the skin where a very durable and strong immune reaction can appear. Ozdoganlar created sharp, dissolvent sugar-based tips that get through to the skin and make the way for vaccines in order to kill the viruses. A syringe or produced – stand-along patch, can be linked to the hybrid microneedle arrays.


“Our Hybrid-Microneedle-Array platform will revolutionize the vaccine and drug delivery by addressing all shortcomings of the existing microneedle array platforms.” - Burak Ozdoganlar, Professor, Mechanical Engineering 

“However, and importantly, this functional advantage, albeit tremendous, would not be sufficient to transition our platform to the clinic for mass vaccinations. What we need—and are currently working on—is an automated manufacturing system that can produce millions of these vaccine-delivery devices a day.”

Because the cooperative microneedles with all type of vaccines includes the mRNA, DNA, protein subunit, and live, attenuated vaccines, there are also profitable as they can deputize for some traditional essential needles which being a part of the world with a high burden of HIV and others ailment.

“We want to remove those big needles from the areas of the world where people might get needle sticks and might accidentally become infected,” Duprex said. “For every person who becomes injected, that’s a big needle and a big syringe which has to be disposed of safely.”

Additionally, diminishing the vaccine transportation reduces the burden which can be known as “cold chain” — a vaccine transportation from industry to patient through a particular refrigerate vehicle, and container dispatch was invented in preserving vaccination at a very low-temperature range. It can be said that the extension of the cold chain might decrease productivity of the vaccination.

The cold chain has already turned to an important challenge, especially in evolving societies. With the increase of new vaccines in the marketplace, the cold chain will be more pressured. Although hybrid microneedles are still needed to keep cold, they save more room.

“We are very excited and grateful for the support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. They share our vision for transformative research to advance current vaccination strategies in order to respond rapidly and effectively to current and future pandemics,” Ozdoganlar said.


More beneficiaries include Amy Hartman of Pitt and Phil Campbell of CMU.


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Improving a vaccine delivery system for COVID and beyond-CMU