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Sensors (Basel) ; 22(14)2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938960


The recent pandemic outbreak proved social distancing effective in helping curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants along with the wearing of masks and hand gloves in hospitals and assisted living environments. Health delivery personnel having undergone training regarding the handling of patients suffering from Corona infection have been stretched. Administering injections involves unavoidable person to person contact. In this circumstance, the spread of bodily fluids and consequently the Coronavirus become eminent, leading to an upsurge of infection rates among nurses and doctors. This makes enforced home office practices and telepresence through humanoid robots a viable alternative. In providing assistance to further reduce contact with patients during vaccinations, a software module has been designed, developed, and implemented on a Pepper robot that estimates the pose of a patient, identifies an injection spot, and raises an arm to deliver the vaccine dose on a bare shoulder. Implementation was done using the QiSDK in an android integrated development environment with a custom Python wrapper. Tests carried out yielded positive results in under 60 s with an 80% success rate, and exposed some ambient lighting discrepancies. These discrepancies can be solved in the near future, paving a new way for humans to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Robotics , Software , Vaccination , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Lighting , Pandemics/prevention & control , Robotics/instrumentation , Robotics/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/instrumentation , Vaccination/methods
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
Biotechnol Bioeng ; 119(1): 48-58, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441944


Manufacturing has been the key factor limiting rollout of vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring rapid development and large-scale implementation of novel manufacturing technologies. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222, Vaxzevria) is an efficacious vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, based upon an adenovirus vector. We describe the development of a process for the production of this vaccine and others based upon the same platform, including novel features to facilitate very large-scale production. We discuss the process economics and the "distributed manufacturing" approach we have taken to provide the vaccine at globally-relevant scale and with international security of supply. Together, these approaches have enabled the largest viral vector manufacturing campaign to date, providing a substantial proportion of global COVID-19 vaccine supply at low cost.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Industry/methods , Animals , Escherichia coli , Geography , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Pan troglodytes , SARS-CoV-2 , Technology, Pharmaceutical , Vaccination/instrumentation