Better Access to Vaccines with the New Microneedle Patch

Each year, millions of people in the developing world are killed by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are administered through injection, meaning a trained professional is required. Vaccines also require a sterile environment and constant refrigeration to remain viable. These requirements are difficult and costly to meet in developing countries. However, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a microneedle patch that can quickly and easily administer vaccines that save lives.

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Using ‘Tower-Power’ to Chill Vaccines

Harvey Rubin and his team at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a project called Energize the Chain, which uses the excess energy from power grids at cellphone towers to run refrigerators that keep vaccines cold in rural areas. Remote communities often lack the energy infrastructure to preserve the cold-chain, upon which so many vaccines depend. Cell towers house a 24-hour supply of energy, the excess of which is currently going to waste.

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