3/16/17 Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley developed a small device using micro components to deliver vaccines through the inside of the cheek without pain or the need for a professional. Its called a MucoJet and is the size of a pill. A patient would squeeze a bulb on the end of the mucojet which breaks a thin membrane separating two compartments: one filled with water and the other, a dry chemical propellant composed of citric acid and baking soda. When the two substances mix, they react to generate enough pressure to push on a piston in the device, which forces a small reservoir of the vaccine out the other end through a small nozzle. The patient would then hold it against the inside of the cheek allowing the nozzle to administer the vaccine through the mucosal layer.
This device has been tested on cheek tissue from pigs as well as live rabbits. The tests simulated how oral flu vaccine are administered and showed that the pressure of the jet improved the efficiency of the drug delivery. The data from this research indicates the immune response from this device is comparable to using a needle. Pros for this new device is it is painless, reduces the biohazardous waste that comes from disposing of used needles, and can be administered at home by the patient, without needing a medical professional on hand.
Testing will begin on larger animals as well as experiments on different shape and size designs including a version that can be swallowed to deliver drugs directly to the intestines.