Even though many vaccines have been invented to prevent debilitating diseases, many people do not receive them. Worldwide, there are 26 million children who have not been immunized; and each year, over 2 million individuals die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines. And even when vaccines are purchased through government or donated funds, roughly 25-50% of them have been spoiled by the time they reach the individual.
How does this happen?
In general, vaccines need to be transported, delivered, and stored at 35-45 degrees Fahrenheit (referred to as the “cold chain”). Outside of this temperature range, the vaccine begins to denature, rendering it inactive and unusable. In many developing or remote areas where there is no electricity (or unreliable electricity), it is difficult to maintain this cold temperature from transportation to storage. Some have attempted to battle this by creating solar powered refrigerators that can be carried on camels’ backs. But a new start-up is bypassing the temperature problem altogether.
Nanoly Bioscience, in conjunction with the University of Colorado, has developed a nanoparticle polymer that encapsulates vaccine proteins and protects it from denaturing in warmer temperatures. The polymer is custom-designed for each vaccine and is both a safe and reliable alternative to refrigeration. This technology will enable millions of individuals in even the most remote parts of the word to effectively receive effective, life-saving vaccines.
To learn more about Nanoly: http://www.nanoly.info/
1. What other some of the other issues associated with vaccine delivery?
2. What vaccine-preventable diseases are highly prevalent in the global community today?