By Aaron Souppouris
Researchers have proved that “injection-free” vaccines are an effective tool in the fight against diseases. The team, based in King’s College London and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, used dried sugar to create a microneedle array — a tiny disc that only lightly perforates the skin. The dried sugar, which was laced with a proposed HIV vaccine, dissolves when inserted in to the skin, effectively delivering the vaccine and kick-starting an immune response. The method is far less invasive than conventional vaccines that are delivered via a hypodermic needle.