When it comes to treating and managing epidemics in developing countries, one of the biggest obstacles has always been limited access to vaccines, so what if physicians were able to make a vaccine on the spot? Researchers at the University of Washington are developing a nanotech delivery option that could help physicians produce a vaccine by just adding water, calcium and phosphate to dehydrated nanoparticles.
The team of engineers created a nanoparticle with a protein on its surface designed to mimic an infection in the body, prompting an immune response, according to a UW report. The protein binds to calcium phosphate, found in teeth and bones, and the nanoparticle carries the protein to the lymph nodes, where it comes in contact with dendritic cells. These immune cells are crucial instigators of an immune response.
Because the solution doesn't require refrigeration, this would also help decrease the cost, with both transporting and storing the solution. How could this new technology help prevent the spread of infectious disease in developing countries?
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