Self-boosting vaccines: An MIT invention could solve one of healthcare's biggest problems

The platform could also be used to deliver drugs for cancer, hormone problems, and auto-immune disorders.
Grant Currin
A painting depicting a woman getting her shot
A painting depicting a woman getting her shotjc_design/iStock
  • A new drug delivery program can schedule your second dose by itself.
  • The particles start to degrade once they are exposed to the body's moisture and high temperature.
  • The particles are made of a safe and non-toxic material called poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid, or PLGA. It's a type of polymer or plastic.

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a new drug delivery platform designed to release a payload — such as the second dose of a vaccine — at a specified time in the future. That could eliminate the need for a patient to make multiple trips to a doctor’s office or vaccination site. The researchers say this new technology, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will enable vaccination campaigns in settings where delivering multiple-dose vaccines is challenging.

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