Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Laurie Lapworth for the University of Bath

New technology for room temperature vaccine storage

Health & Wellbeing

A new technique could allow vaccines and other medications to be transported far more easily around the world

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Spotted: Currently, most vaccines need to be stored at very specific low or ultra-low temperatures. And if the temperatures are too high or too low, the vaccine will lose its ability to protect against disease. This makes transporting vaccines around the world a complex undertaking and is why many rural areas around the world have very poor access to vaccinations. Now, however, researchers may have found a way to transport vaccines safely at higher temperatures.

Biopharmaceuticals company EnsiliTech has developed a technology that makes biopharmaceuticals safe and stable at room temperatures. The company was spun out of Bath University, where researchers developed ensilication technology. This involves applying tiny layers of an inorganic material to a vaccine or other biological material to render it stable.

The technology uses inert silica to encapsulate the active ingredients with a protective ‘cage’, which keeps the biological material protected from any variations in outside temperature or humidity. When the vaccine is ready to be administered, the silica cage cracks open and falls away, leaving the active ingredient in its pure and fully functional form.

Co-founder and CEO of EnsiliTech Dr. Asel Sartbaeva commented: “Our goal is to make the transportation of vaccines and other life-saving biological materials more efficient and cost-effective, while also reducing the carbon footprint of this critical supply chain.”

EnsiliTech has recently raised £1.2 million (around €1.36 million) in pre-seed funding.

Springwise has spotted other ideas aiming to protect the efficacy of vaccines, including transporting them as a microneedle patch, and using sugar to protect vaccines from heat.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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