New York: An injectable three-dimensional vaccine that works by triggering an immune response could help prevent a whole range of deadly diseases, including as well as cancer, finds a research.
The non-surgical injection of programmable biomaterial spontaneously assembles in vivo into a 3D structure.
"We can create 3D structures using minimally-invasive delivery to enrich and activate a host's immune cells to target and attack harmful cells in vivo," said the study's senior author David Mooney of Harvard University.
So far, the researchers have only tested the 3D vaccine in mice, but have found it is highly effective.
The vaccines are easily and rapidly manufactured so that they could potentially be widely available very quickly in the face of an emerging infectious disease.
"We anticipate 3D vaccines could be broadly useful for many settings and their injectable nature would also make them easy to administer both inside and outside a clinic," Mooney noted.
Since the vaccine works by triggering an immune response, the method could even be used preventatively by building the body's immune resistance prior to infection.
One of the reasons cancer is so deadly is that it can evade attack from the body's immune system, which allows tumours to flourish and spread.
"These injectable 3D vaccines offer a minimally invasive and scalable way to deliver therapies that work by mimicking the body's own powerful immune-response in diseases which have previously been able to skirt immune detection," Judah Folkman of Harvard University pointed out.
Their findings appeared in the journal Nature Biotechnology.