Development of microneedle array patch for COVID‑19 vaccine delivery
COVID‑19 is a global pandemic with no effective therapeutic and preventive agents. Given the high infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 and severity of the disease, vaccines are urgently needed to tackle the infection of this novel coronavirus. Thus far, various types of vaccine candidates, in different stages of preclinical testing and clinical trials, are being explored, including RNA- and DNA-based, vectored and attenuated virus, and recombinant proteins. However, possible adverse effects and limitations exist. For example, RNA/DNA-based vaccines can trigger an immune response leading to detrimental consequences in key organs (e.g. brain and heart), low immunogenicity, short half-life of immunogen, and inefficient delivery of vectors. To overcome these problems, we will work with a Canadian biotechnology company to develop microneedle arrays for delivering multicomponent vaccine to boost the efficacy while increasing the safety of vaccination for COVID-19.