Researchers at Tufts University recently found that a new silk-based stabilizer could get rid of the need to refrigerate vaccines and antibiotics, potentially enhancing vaccine delivery and storage in developing nations.
A team of Tufts researchers led by David Kaplan found that by using silk protein matrices to immobilize the bioactive molecules of live vaccines and antibiotics, the drugs could be stabilized when stored at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods of time.
“New studies are already under way,” Kaplan said. “We have already begun trying to broaden the impact of what we’re doing to apply to all vaccines. Based on what we’ve seen with other proteins, peptides and enzymes, there’s no reason to believe that this wouldn’t be universal. This could potentially eliminate the need for a cold-chain system, greatly decreasing costs and enabling more widespread availability of these lifesaving drugs.”