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February 13 2013

Sugar needles could carry safe, painless, long-lasting vaccines

Vaccines could be kept for longer and administered more easily in the next few years, if research at King's College London pans out. The delivery method uses a dried vaccine and micro-needles made, amazingly, out of sugar.

It's not quite a candy-coated hypodermic, but that's actually pretty close. The researchers, led by Dr. Linda Klavinskis, were attempting to solve two problems. First, hypodermic delivery can be painful and requires some expertise. Second, keeping vaccines alive and cold is difficult, especially in places like rural Africa, where such help is desperately needed.

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