Oral vaccines powered by micromotors that target the mucus layer of the intestine have been developed by scientists. The findings are published in ACS journal Nano Letters.
Vaccines have saved millions of lives, but nobody likes getting a shot. That's why scientists are trying to develop oral vaccines for infectious diseases. But to be effective, the vaccine must survive digestion and reach immune cells within the intestinal wall.
In addition to avoiding needles, oral vaccines can generate a broader immune response by stimulating immune cells within the mucus layer of the intestine to produce a special class of antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA). Joseph Wang, Liangfang Zhang and colleagues wondered if they could use magnesium particles as tiny motors to deliver an oral vaccine against the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. When coated over most of their surfaces with titanium dioxide, magnesium microparticles use water as fuel to generate hydrogen bubbles that power their propulsion.