Capsulues for delayed-burst delivery of vaccines

Conventionally, vaccines are manually administered by multiple single bolus injections at specific intervals between each other, which require multiple appointments with medical professionals. In contrast, a novel method of vaccine delivery is currently being developed whereby a first dose is administered through conventional injection, but the second dose is automatically released after a specified period via an implant administered alongside the first vaccination. (Melchels, et al., 2015) (Samson, et al., 2021).
When implanted in tissue, the capsule absorbs water through osmosis across the permeable polymeric wall due to the salt solution. The capsule absorbs water until a peak mass is reached and the mechanical stresses on the tube walls cause it to fissure and release a bolus dose of the vaccine.

In this project, the student researcher will prepare capsules with an cutom-built automated dip-coater, and investigate the functionality of the device through mechanical burst pressure testing and osmosis-driven release experiments. The effect of variables such as material composition, wall thickness and osmogent concentration on burst pressure and lag time for release will be investigated.

* Melchels FPW, Fehr I, Reitz AS, Dunker U, Beagley KW, Dargaville TR & Hutmacher DW (2015) Initial Design and Physical Characterization of a Polymeric Device for Osmosis-Driven Delayed Burst Delivery of Vaccines. Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 112(6), p1927
* Samson KDG, Bolle ECL, Sarwat M, Dargaville TR & Melchels FPW (2021) Elastic Bioresorbable Polymeric Capsules for Osmosis-Driven Delayed Burst Delivery of Vaccines, Pharmaceutics, 13, p434

Supervisor name: 
Ferry Melchels
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:;

Related MSc programmes:

Project location: 
Deputy name: 
Veronica Hifalgo-Alvarez