Researchers at the University of Oxford have pioneered a needle-free vaccination technique using ultrasound technology. The method involves mixing vaccine molecules with cup-shaped protein molecules and applying the liquid to the skin, followed by exposure to ultrasound for about a minute and a half.

Ultrasound initially pushes the vaccine into the upper skin layers, forming bubbles that burst, propelling the vaccine deeper. This process also clears dead skin cells, enhancing permeability for more effective vaccine absorption.

While traditional needles inject vaccines into the muscles, ultrasound delivers them to the skin’s upper layers. Despite delivering 700 times fewer vaccine molecules, tests on live mice showed increased antibody production without signs of pain or visible skin damage.

The method’s reliability faces questions, with concerns about uneven vaccine distribution. Researchers, led by Darcy Dunn-Lawless, are actively working on solutions, such as recording bubble pops to monitor vaccine distribution more effectively.

The needle-free ultrasound vaccination approach offers a promising alternative to traditional injections. Despite challenges, ongoing research may pave the way for a more comfortable, pain-free, and potentially more effective vaccination method, revolutionizing global immunization practices.

Article written by Victoria Song



New Scientist