Washington: A team of scientists has introduced needle-free vaccination that can stimulate the immune response of the human skin.
Vaccination is an effective method of stimulating the human body's immune system to fight against various pathogens (e.g. bacteria, viruses) and worldwide vaccination needs safe, easy-to-use and inexpensive tools for vaccine administration. The skin immune system is a promising target as the skin lies directly in front of us.
Researcher Annika Vogt from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy (Charite-Berlin, Germany) and UPMC University Paris, Sorbonne Universites, (France) said that for 10 years, researchers have been working together on how to use the skin immune system to develop a new, non-invasive vaccination method and in this study, they show how a painless method helps such vaccines cross the skin.
Vogt added that the method "wakes up" skin immune cells so that they are ready to catch the vaccine and generate an immune response.
To make this discovery, Vogt and colleagues treated natural skin samples with a novel method called cyanoacrylate skin surface stripping (CSSS). They then applied to the skin surface 200 nm particles which reflect the size of viruses and engineered particulate vaccines and used microscopy to compare the penetration of the particles.
They found that the CSS method enhanced the penetration of the particles to the deeper skin layers, especially to the hair follicles, and activated skin dendritic cells which are key players in the orchestration of the skin immune system.
Results of this novel approach, which should be further investigated in clinical trials, strongly suggest that the combination of an adequate skin treatment with a vaccine specifically designed to target skin immune cells could become a powerful tool for mass vaccination.
If they learn how to better reach and communicate with skin immune cells from the outside, they would be able to develop new tools for the treatment of allergies, inflammatory skin diseases or skin cancer, concluded Annika Vogt.
The research is published in Experimental Dermatology.