Australia develops technique to transport vaccines without refrigeration

Sydney, Australia, Feb 22 (EFE).- Australian researchers have developed a technique to transport vaccines without refrigeration, allowing a more affordable and equitable access, the country’s national science agency CSIRO said Tuesday.

The team of CSIRO researchers encapsulated a series of live virus vaccines, which depend of temperature control for preservation, with a dissoluble crystalline material called MOFs (metal organic frameworks).

This process helped protect the integrity of the vaccines for up to 12 weeks and at temperatures of up to 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), according to a CSIRO statement, which added that without refrigeration the vaccines would last only a few days.

The research, published in the scientific journal Acta Biomaterialia, said the new technique is more efficient than the approach to keep it from heat by modifying the drug through a complex and laborious process.

“This world-first approach of stabilising a vaccine with MOFs is simple, rapid, and scalable because it takes one step,” said CSIRO researcher and author of the paper, Dr Ruhani Singh, adding that it was also cost effective.

The World Health Organization estimates that at least 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally each year, mainly due to lack of facilities and temperature control.

In this regard, CSIRO researchers claim the new technique can contribute to a more equitable and affordable access to vaccines across the world.

For the research using MOF, the CSIRO team focused on two different types of live viruses as proofs of concept, a Newcastle Disease vaccine designed to protect poultry and a strain of Influenza A.

CSIRO scientist Daniel Layton said the next studies would now focus on the preservation of other animal and human vaccines, including mRNA Covid-19 vaccines.

“Live virus vaccines are extremely effective, but their complex composition makes them susceptible to high temperatures, and a universal stabilisation technique has not been found,” said Layton.

The technique developed by CSIRO involves encapsulating the virus with MOF to protect the vaccine molecules against heat stress and then dissolving it with a solution to administer the drug. EFE


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