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3D Printing Technique Helps Create Multiple Vaccine Injection

3Ders reports on a new 3D printing technique developed by engineers at MIT.  This 3D printing method “could allow doctors to deliver several drug vaccine doses over a period of time with just a single injection.  The ‘SEAL’ technique works by 3D printing cup-like microparticles that can store and seal the drug doses.”

These microparticles, “far too small to hold in your fingers…are made from a biocompatible, FDA-approved polymer which can be programmed to degrade at specific times.”  As MIT’s David H. Koch Institute Professor Robert Langer explains, “for the first time, we can create a library of tiny, encased vaccine particles, each programmed to release at a precise, predictable time, so that people could potentially receive a single injection that, in effect, would have multiple boosters already built into it.”

Funding for development of this 3D printing technique was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  This project “is deemed particularly important for vaccinations in countries where patients are often unable or unlikely to return for follow-up injections…the team tried the [microparticles] out on mice, finding that they could release in sharp bursts, without leaking, at 9, 20, and 41 days after injection.”

As MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Scientist Ana Jaklenec adds, “we developed a new method that can make structures, which current 3D printing methods cannot.  This new method called SEAL (StampEd Assembly of polymer Layers) can be used with any thermoplastic material and allows for fabrication of microstructures with complex geometries that could have broad applications including injectable pulsatile drug delivery, pH sensors, and 3D microfluidic devices.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3Ders

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