BYU Researchers Develop ‘Just-Add-Water’ Method for Frozen Vaccines

Friday, November 20, 2015

Producing and distributing vaccines that protect us from life-threatening new viruses could be as simple as just adding water.

That’s the key to a new system developed by researchers out of Brigham Young University. The concept is startlingly simple: create biological machinery to mass produce the vaccine and freeze-dry it. Then when needed, add water and voila — you have your active vaccine in as little as 24 hours.

Basically, the heavy lifting is done before the virus even strikes, so that when the need for a vaccine arises, the tools are already in place for a quick production.

“You could just pull it off the shelf and make it,” said senior study author and chemical engineering professor Brad Bundy in a release. “We could make the vaccine and be ready for distribution in a day.”

Currently, the process of producing and storing vaccines for pandemic influenza strains is difficult, expensive and time consuming, researchers said. Heavy engineering and special equipment necessary for the process exist in just several labs throughout the country, raising obvious challenges.

Source: KSL (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
research, vaccines