Aiming for pedal-powered vaccine delivery

Researchers at Aerovax, working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US,  are using the Spraytec particle size analyzer from Malvern Instruments in the development of an innovative platform for vaccine delivery, intended for use in developing countries. Aerovax is a nebulizer-based system that reproducibly reconstitutes and aerosolizes a vaccine for inhalation, without the need for an electricity supply. Spraytec is being used to confirm the performance of this novel drug delivery system.

"Malvern Instruments generously offered their support for this project, providing us with access to a Spraytec system," said Jose Gomez-Marquez, VP of Engineering at Aerovax. "The Aerovax system uses pedal- or solar-powered air propulsion to aerosolize a vaccine for delivery. Using the Spraytec we were able to carry out comparative studies which have confirmed that the system's performance is similar to that achieved using a standard, electrically-driven air compressor, which is great news for our development team."

Delivering vaccines in aerosol form is a relatively new approach that has shown considerable promise, particularly for measles vaccines, the current focus for the Aerovax team. Aerovax is designed for operation in countries with little infrastructure, by medically untrained personnel. Simple to use it offers automated one-step reconstitution of the vaccine formulation in combination with non-electrically powered drug delivery.

"Malvern Instruments is very happy to be involved with this extremely worthwhile project," said Paul Kippax, product manager for diffraction products. "Spraytec measures the size of droplets produced by nebulizer systems, a factor that has a critical impact on uptake of the drug. The results obtained using the Spraytec correlate with those from traditional sizing techniques. However, the advantage with Spraytec is that measurements can be carried out very rapidly, allowing researchers to quickly determine whether the performance of a new device has been optimized."

Spraytec is a laser diffraction-based particle size analyzer with a measurement rate fast enough to characterize sprays in real time. Widely used to investigate the performance of nasal sprays, nebulizers and inhalers, it provides accurate data for even highly concentrated spray plumes. The system is easy-to-use with single-click, SOP-driven operation. User-friendly software promotes effective data interpretation.  

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