News ≫ Sri Lankan Helps Develop World’s First Inhaling Vaccines

Sri Lankan Helps Develop World’s First Inhaling Vaccines

Dec 30, 2014
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A Sri Lankan researcher, Dr Anushi Rajapaksa has developed a potential alternative for needle vaccinations, successfully trying a method in which people can inhale a vaccine to safeguard against potential infections.

The 29 year old with her team at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Monash University developed a novel way of turning a liquid vaccination into an aerosol form against the flu. They are also hoping to use the matchbox-sized device to deliver stem cells into the lungs of premature babies to repair damaged tissue.

Lead researcher Dr Anushi Rajapaksa said the biggest stumbling block in developing needle-free vaccination had been overcoming the fragile structure of vaccines. “Vaccines are proteins, which are very sensitive to heat and forces,” Dr Rajapaksa said. “The problem has been getting them up in an aerial form, into a mist.”

She said the development held a lot of promise for a replacement to vaccine injections which are associated with safety concerns in developing countries, requiring expensive and specialised handling, refrigeration and staff training that many places in the world cannot afford. “We hope that a disposal type of device where issues surrounding sterility, risk of needle stick injuries are absent, would be of great benefit,” she said.

Dr Anushi, who studied at Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo and Monash University in Australia, said the application of this technology in a third world country such as Sri Lanka was enormous.

(Courtesy of Australia News)

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