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Silica "coat" makes vaccine resistant to hundreds of degrees Celsius

Hardships in vaccine preservation time in history

As we all know, the vaccine needs to be kept in cold storage, and it is generally safe in the range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius. At other temperatures, the protein contained in the vaccine will disintegrate, resulting in the loss of vaccine activity. Therefore, it is roughly estimated that millions of children worldwide So miss the best time to get vaccinated, but now this situation is expected to become history. According to the physicist organization network reported on the 8th, British scientists cleverly put a layer of silica "coat" on the protein, which can make it stored for up to three years even when heated to 100 degrees Celsius or at room temperature. At the same time, the structure of the vaccine is still intact.

Proposal and experiment of siliconized vaccine

The University of Bath and Newcastle University have collaborated to develop this "siliconized" vaccine technology, which was published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.
In the latest research progress, the researchers mailed two copies of tetanus vaccine from the University of Bath to Newcastle University by mail (the distance between the two places is 300 miles, and the delivery takes one or two days). One vaccine "wears a silica coat"; the other is unprotected. After the delivery, it was found that the "silicified" vaccine was successfully injected into the mouse to trigger an immune response. This situation indicates that the vaccine is active; while the vaccine without protection measures injected into the mouse did not trigger the immune response, indicating that the vaccine has been It was damaged during transportation.

Wonderful combination of silica and protein

They use the main ingredient of sand-silica, a non-toxic and inert material-to cleverly wrap proteins to form a protective layer. The research was published in the recent "Science Report" publication.
When the protein in the solution is mixed with silica, the silica is tightly bound to the protein to match its shape, and quickly forms a multi-layer cage to wrap the protein. Compared with similar technologies, the biggest advantage of this method is that it does not require freeze-drying, and about half of the vaccine will be damaged at this time.
Once the protein is combined with silica, it can be stored or transported without freezing. It is worth noting that the outer layer of silica can be chemically removed, and the activity of the released protein is not affected.
Dr. Issel Satabava, the head of the latest research and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bath, said: "The research results are exciting. This new technology not only protects the protein structure of the vaccine, but also retains its function-the immunogen Sex."
Sata Bava explained: "Our current focus is on tetanus vaccine, which is part of the DTP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccinated by children. Next, we will work to develop heat-stable diphtheria and Pertussis vaccine. Ultimately, we want to'siliconize' the triple vaccine of the entire DTP system so that every child can get the DTP vaccine without relying on cold chain transportation."

Planning the future development of vaccines

Sata Bava said that the "silicified" vaccine can be used in humans within 5 to 15 years. She hopes that this "silicified" technology will eventually be used to store and transport all children's vaccines and other protein products such as antibodies and enzymes. Our aim is to use heat-stable vaccines and reduce dependence on cold-chain transport vaccines to eradicate vaccine-preventable diseases in low-income countries."
It is reported that as a result of exposure to suboptimal temperatures, up to 50% of the vaccine is discarded before use. Data from the World Health Organization show that in 2018, 19.4 million babies were not vaccinated.
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