Mark Prausnitz, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2009
For pioneering achievements to develop biophysical methods for delivery of drugs, genes and vaccines using microfabricated devices, electric fields and ultrasound.

Getting Vaccinated Will Soon Be As Easy As Putting On A Band-Aid

Via Fast Company | May 4, 2015

Most people hate getting jabbed with even a single needle, but Georgia Tech’s Mark Prausnitz thinks the future of vaccination is to jab people with a hundred needles at once. But it’s not as terrifying as it sounds; in fact, Praustnitz’s design for delivering vaccines is as easy as slapping on a band-aid.

Just a fraction of a millimeter long, up to 100 microneedles can be applied at once to painlessly vaccinate patients against the flu, rubella, or the measles. Using a cocktail of sugar, vaccine, and a polymer (to keep the needles stable), each patch contains a single dose of vaccine. To apply it, you just slap it onto someone’s skin like a sticker. The tiny needles then painlessly puncture a patient’s skin, where they dissolve. 20 minutes later, and you can throw the patch away, fully vaccinated.

Although needles are most effective way of vaccinating someone, they have a lot of problems, especially in the developing world. Not only do they hurt, but require special training to mix and administer the vaccine, which itself requires refrigeration to keep viable, says Dr. James Goodson of the Center for Disease Control.