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Polymer Reviews ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1984894


Vaccine development is among the critical issues for ceasing the COVID-19 pandemic. This review discusses the current usage of biomaterials in vaccine development and provides brief descriptions of the vaccine types and their working mechanisms. New types of vaccine platforms (next-generation vaccines and DNA- or mRNA-based vaccines) are discussed in detail. The mRNA vaccine encoding the spike protein viral antigen can be produced in a cell-free system, suggesting that mRNA vaccines are safer than “classic vaccines” using live or inactivated virus. The mRNA vaccine efficacy is typically high at approximately 95%. However, most mRNA vaccines need to be maintained at −20 or −70 degrees for storage for long periods (half a year) and their transportation because of mRNA vaccine instability in general, although mRNA vaccines with unmodified and self-amplifying RNA (ARCT-154, Arcturus), which have a lyophilized form, have recently been reported to be kept at room temperature. mRNA vaccines are typically entrapped in lipid nanoparticles composed of ionizable lipids, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-lipids, phospholipids, and cholesterol. These components and their composition affect mRNA vaccine stability and efficacy and the size of the mRNA vaccine. The development of an improved mRNA vaccine entrapped in sophisticated biomaterials, such as novel lipid nanoparticles, using new types of biopolymers or lipids is necessary for high efficacy, safe transportation and long-term storage of the next generation of mRNA vaccines under mild conditions. © 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science ; 62(8), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1378835


Purpose : Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has impacted individuals seeking preventative, follow-up, and emergent ophthalmic care. In this retrospective study, we assessed the impact of COVID-19 on inpatient and emergency department (ED) ophthalmology care at a large tertiary academic hospital in the United States. Methods : We analyzed 570 ED and inpatient ophthalmology consults from March 13 to May 15 in 2020 and over the same period in 2019. Our primary endpoints were the number of consults and the percentage of consults that were 'vision-threatening' between the time periods. Our secondary endpoints were the demographics of the patients, relation to trauma, relation to an exacerbation of a chronic ocular condition, if the consult required surgical intervention, and time to surgery. Results : The total number of ED and inpatient consults decreased by 35.2% in 2020 compared to 2019. The total number of visually threatening diagnoses decreased, 97 in 2019 to 83 in 2020. The proportion of presentations with visually threatening diagnosis increased from 28.0% to 37.1% (p=0.0237). In 2020, there were a higher proportion of consults related to trauma (31.7% compared to 23.4%, p=0.0289), and consults requiring surgical intervention (19.6% compared to 12.4%, p=0.0192). The time to surgery was similar between time periods studied (p=0.902). There was not a significant difference in proportion of consults resulting from exacerbations of chronic ocular conditions (p=0.554). Conclusions : The volume of ophthalmic consults to our tertiary eye center and ED declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was an increase in the proportion of visually threatening diseases indicating a higher overall acuity seen by the consulting service. There was a total decrease in visually threatening diseases (despite an increase in numbers of consults from trauma), suggesting that some patients may have avoided urgent ophthalmic care due to fear of COVID-19 and the lockdown. Further research is needed to characterize the effect of COVID-19 and the regional stay-at-home order on emergent ophthalmic care delivery so we can better prepare for later stages of the pandemic and also for future pandemics.