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Nanopatch -

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Nanopatch

A new vaccination delivery method could replace needles and syringes - and save millions of lives.
Maryanne Demasi discovers the "nanopatch" and its future potential.

NARRATION

Mark Kendall was a young engineer wanting to revolutionize an old medical technique.

Prof Mark Kendall

It's really about improving the reach of vaccines. So I decided to take a step back and think about
a different way of doing that and being bored in a presentation provided me the scope just to think
and, and doodle.

NARRATION

Several years later, the nanopatch was developed.

Dr Maryanne Demasi

It's been hailed a game changer in the way we deliver vaccines.

NARRATION

First invented in 1853, the needle and syringe is still the most common way to deliver vaccines but
this has problems.

Prof Mark Kendall

Most of us don't like the needle. That can lead to needle phobia - that's holding back people
getting vaccinated. There's needle stick injuries. That becomes a very big problem in a place like
Africa but beyond that also the vaccine's in liquid form and the problem there is you need to
refrigerate the vaccine and that's expensive and, and cumbersome.

Dr Maryanne Demasi

So Mark, how do you actually apply the nanopatch?

Prof Mark Kendall

This is a, a mock up of an applicator. Normally we'd have a nanopatch in this housing but in this
particular case not. So this is how we apply it and that's the process.

Dr Maryanne Demasi

So that's it?

Prof Mark Kendall

That's it.

Dr Maryanne Demasi

No pain.

Prof Mark Kendall

No pain.

NARRATION

The prototype contains hundreds of tiny projections, each dry coated with the vaccine. They've
tested several different types of vaccines like influenza, human papillomavirus and even malaria.

Dr Maryanne Demasi

Most vaccines are injected into the muscle where there's only a few immune cells but the nanopatch
delivers it where we need it most.

NARRATION

Just below the skin is an abundant supply of immune cells so the amount of vaccine required is a
hundred fold less.

Prof Mark Kendall

The nanopatch presents the possibility of just using a fraction of the dose compared to the needle
and syringe and we've proven that in the mouse model and we seek to, to prove that in, in humans.

NARRATION

3D mapping of the skin shows the immune cells in green, engulfing the vaccine in red. The
interaction is quick.

Prof Mark Kendall

Our published work shows that it's two minutes of application time. More recent work suggests that
it could be down to just a few seconds.

NARRATION

In the event of a pandemic, these patches could be posted out to thousands of people because they
don't need refrigeration and they can be self administered. But beyond delivering vaccines, the
nanopatch is now showing a huge potential in the area of diagnosing diseases like dengue fever.

Prof Mark Kendall

The symptoms for malaria and, and dengue are identical and if you're trying to differentiate
between the two before applying the medication, you can apply a patch, turn it around and on the
spot get a colour to tell you what you have.

NARRATION

It's been over a decade in the making but Mark's sketch on his notepad will soon become a reality.

Prof Mark Kendall

It's one, one of the best feelings I think you can have that you have an idea and it turns out to
work better than you'd expected. It's a journey that takes many years, it's a long game but it's
one that we're committed to and working hard on.