Quantum dot ‘tattoo’ will keep patient vaccination history under the skin

Media reported that to ensure that the vaccine works as effectively as possible, it is important to track who has been given which and when, but it is not so easy to do so, especially in developing countries. So now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a creative new solution — microneedle patches. The patch can inject both a vaccine and a quantum dot under the skin, essentially storing a person’s vaccine history in the body of the person being injected.

Quantum dot 'tattoo' will keep patient vaccination history under the skin

Patient vaccination records are important to their health and to the health of the community as a whole. Not only does it highlight the vaccines they still need to be injected with, but many vaccines need to be injected multiple times at specific intervals to be effective, which can lead to ineffective treatment if they do not know that. MIT’s new approach will change that and give priority to developing countries.

Kevin McHugh, lead author of the study, said: “In areas where paper vaccination cards are often lost or not present and never heard of electronic databases, this technology can quickly and anonymously detect a patient’s vaccination history and thus ensure that every child is vaccinated. “

A key part of the new technology is a dye containing quantum dots, tiny semiconductor crystals that reflect light at a specific wavelength. The researchers’ idea is that it will be used with the vaccine, and that the quantum dot dye will stay under the skin for five years when the drug works in the blood.

These dyes can be arranged in different patterns to mark different vaccines. This allows doctors to make fluorescent fluorescent strains of the often invisible dye by using a specially configured smartphone when they need to examine patients’ records.

In this case, the quantum dot is made of copper and is designed to emit near-infrared light. To keep them in the body for long periods of time, the team encased them in particles about 20 microns wide.

It is understood that this painless syringe alternative can be attached to the skin like a can paste, the surface is composed of soluble small needles. The needles themselves are made up of the drugs and quantum dots needed, all of which are tied together by sugar and a polymer used for structural construction. When the needles dissolve, they release the payload into the body.

In the experiment, the team injected the dye into human skin samples using microneedle patches, and the results showed that even after five years of solar simulation, the pattern of the quantum dot could still be seen by smartphone detectors.

In another test of mice, scientists found that quantum dots did not interfere with the effectiveness of the polio vaccine, and that they did not damage the animal’s immune system compared to conventional vaccines.

In the future, researchers will work to integrate more specific data into patches, such as vaccination dates and lot numbers. And to make sure the fuel is safe for humans, researchers will need to do more tests.

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