Nanoparticle technology brings modification in the flu-vaccines. Vaccine aids in saving lives. With advances in technology, lives have become healthier. The death rate is decreasing mostly in developed countries. The flu vaccine is already on the market. However, now nanoparticle technology has improved the flu vaccine.
Thus, resulting in much more advanced, effective, and productive flu shots. Furthermore, the advantage of this flu shot is that it is beneficial in preventing every type of flu. Hence, it is called a universal flu shot.
Nanoparticle Technology In Medicine
Nanomedicine is a term usually used for the medical application of nanoparticle technology. Nanotechnology in medicine improves medicines’ action. Furthermore, nanomedicine enables the design of biological machines and Nano-electronic biosensors. Nanomedicine has led to the development of diagnostic devices, contrast agents, and analytical tools.
Nanoparticle technology enables scientists to deliver drugs to specific cells using nanoparticles. This new drug delivery system reduces side-effects and lowers drug consumption. Thus, permitting us to achieve maximum benefits from the medicine at fewer doses and with fewer side-effects. Targeted drug delivery maximizes bioavailability.
Furthermore, due to the smaller size of nanoparticles nanomedicine insertion becomes easier. Moreover, the smaller nanoparticle vehicles carry drugs to the narrowest places in the body to a specific target.
Current Flu Vaccine
With new disease outbreaks, scientists start studying them to design the best treatment and prevention strategy. Furthermore, to understand its cause, progression, and many other factors. However, with time pathogens evolve. Furthermore, the race to eradicate the pathogen continues. The new flu vaccine designed with nanoparticle technology gives promising results.
The influenza virus causes the flu. The virus infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Moreover, the virus-like most other types of viruses spread from person-to-person. When a person gets infected with the influenza virus, cough, sneeze, or talk, the droplets containing the virus spread to other people. In 1940s, the vaccination for flu came into the market.
The current flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses. However, the current vaccine is only effective against certain types of flu strains.
Nanoparticle Technology Modifies Flu Vaccine
Influenza virus strains evolve and mutate. Thus, each year the flu vaccine needs modification. Furthermore, discovering all types of strains before their mutation becomes difficult. Moreover, the discovery and formation of the new vaccine are in progress.
However, there is no certainty that the vaccine will be a 100% match with the current strain in circulation. Scientists are eager to develop a vaccine that will have a universal flu shot covering all strains in a time-span.
A team from MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School have created a vaccine. The team stated while reporting in the journal Cell Systems that they made use of nanoparticle technology to design the vaccine. This vaccine consists of flu proteins coated with nanoparticles.
Typical Flu Vaccine And New Flu Vaccine
The antigen, the inactivated protein hemagglutinin (HA), aids in forming the flu vaccine. This antigen triggers the antibodies formation, which binds to the head of HA and fights the virus. However, this head of HA mutates rapidly while its tail remains the same.
Furthermore, the immune system only recognizes the head, not the tail.
Daniel Lingwood is a senior author of the study and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He explains, with the help of nanotechnology, new vaccines focus on the tail of HA of all strains. Thus, enabling the body to identify the virus from its rarely mutated part. Furthermore, they have successfully experimented with mice.
Moreover, the vaccine proves to be very effective and productive in the treatment and prevention of flu. According to MIT’s Arup K Chakraborty, the new flu shot will protect individuals from seasonal flu strains as well as pandemic strains.