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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(45)2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475573


Vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and other pathogens with pandemic potential requires safe, protective, inexpensive, and easily accessible vaccines that can be developed and manufactured rapidly at a large scale. DNA vaccines can achieve these criteria, but induction of strong immune responses has often required bulky, expensive electroporation devices. Here, we report an ultra-low-cost (<1 USD), handheld (<50 g) electroporation system utilizing a microneedle electrode array ("ePatch") for DNA vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. The low cost and small size are achieved by combining a thumb-operated piezoelectric pulser derived from a common household stove lighter that emits microsecond, bipolar, oscillatory electric pulses and a microneedle electrode array that targets delivery of high electric field strength pulses to the skin's epidermis. Antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 induced by this electroporation system in mice were strong and enabled at least 10-fold dose sparing compared to conventional intramuscular or intradermal injection of the DNA vaccine. Vaccination was well tolerated with mild, transient effects on the skin. This ePatch system is easily portable, without any battery or other power source supply, offering an attractive, inexpensive approach for rapid and accessible DNA vaccination to combat COVID-19, as well as other epidemics.

COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Electroporation/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Costs and Cost Analysis , Electroporation/economics , Electroporation/methods , Equipment Design , Female , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Microelectrodes , Needles , Pandemics/prevention & control , Proof of Concept Study , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Skin/immunology , Skin/metabolism , Transfection , Vaccination/economics , Vaccination/instrumentation , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology