Emory-led clinical trial tests microneedle skin patches as alternative to flu shot

An example of a microneedle patch. Photo by Gary Meek, gatech.edu

An example of a microneedle patch. Photo by Gary Meek, gatech.edu

A clinical trial at Emory University is currently underway to test whether microneedle patches applied to the skin are a safe and effective alternative to conventional flu shots.

The patches, which are about the size of a quarter, contain very tiny (thin and short) needles, called microneedles, which are barely visible to the eye. Once the patch is applied to the skin, the microneedles begin to penetrate the upper layers of the skin and deliver the vaccine.

Researchers plan to enroll up to 100 participants in the clinical study conducted at the Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center. Volunteers must be healthy adults between ages 18 and 49 who did not receive a flu shot in the 2014-2015 season will receive either one dose of the regular flu shot or one patch containing either the flu vaccine or containing placebo.

The flu vaccine used in the study is the same as the FDA-approved flu vaccine from last season. The purpose of the study is to assess the safety of the microneedle patch, how the body’s immune system responds to the vaccine delivered through a patch, and participants’ opinions about using the patch. Participants will receive follow up, including blood work, during six visits over six months.

For more information about the microneedle clinical study, contact the Hope Clinic by phone at 404-712-1371, email at vaccine@emory.edu or click here.

For more information about clinical trials at Emory Healthcare, visit our clinical trials website and make sure to review the list of frequently asked questions.

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