Vaccine Machine

Print me up one of those vaccines, will ya?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Most vaccines – like mRNA vaccines – have to be kept cold. So it’s difficult to use them in areas where refrigeration isn’t available. But what if we could beat… the heat?

Enter Aurélien vander Straeten and team from MIT. They wanted to make mRNA vaccines that are stable at room temperature. 

So they created a vaccine printer! It prints the vaccine onto a patch of microneedles, like a pimple patch! This can be placed on our skin and absorbed without the typical painful injection! 

The researchers tested their printable COVID vaccine on mice. The vaccine patch triggered similar immune responses in mice to the traditional vaccine! This was true even when the patch had been stored at room temperature for three months!

These printed vaccines could be used in areas that are unable to refrigerate traditional vaccines!

Now… how about some… printable ice cream!! Num Num Num


vander Straeten, A., Sarmadi, M., Daristotle, J. L., Kanelli, M., Tostanoski, L. H., Collins, J., Pardeshi, A., Han, J., Varshney, D., Eshaghi, B., Garcia, J., Forster, T. A., Li, G., Menon, N., Pyon, S. L., Zhang, L., Jacob-Dolan, C., Powers, O. C., Hall, K., … Jaklenec, A. (2023). A microneedle vaccine printer for thermostable COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Nature Biotechnology, 1–8.