Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Delivery Technologies

Needle-free innovations

A new vision for safe injection

Vaccine and pharmaceutical delivery without needles? It may sound too good to be true, but PATH and our research partners are working to advance a number of needle-free innovations that hold promise for improving delivery safety, efficiency, and effectiveness in low-resource settings. Some innovations including those for mucosal immunization may also help to improve vaccine efficacy—helping to accelerate the development, coverage, and impact of new vaccines and medications of critical importance to developing countries.

Shots without needles

  • Disposable-syringe jet injectors. Improving upon earlier generations of jet injector technology, today’s disposable-syringe jet injectors (DSJIs) generate a pressurized liquid stream of vaccine or medication that pushes through the skin, delivering the injection directly into the desired tissue. They are the only available needle-free devices that can administer all injectable vaccines commonly used in developing-country immunization programs at all depths of delivery (subcutaneous, intramuscular, and intradermal). They also require no change in vaccine formulation and can be filled using single-dose or multidose vials at the point of delivery. With multiple device developers and global stakeholders, PATH continues to explore the acceptability and sustainability of DSJIs for developing-country markets—assisting with product design, regulatory advances, economic analyses, and clinical research. Visit our page on DSJI’s to learn more »
  • Intranasal and pulmonary technologies. These devices can enable the targeted administration of vaccines or medication directly into the nasal cavity or lungs, where they are quickly absorbed by the appropriate tissues. In high-income countries, intranasal and pulmonary devices are frequently used for the delivery of seasonal flu vaccines and in the treatment of noncommunicable diseases, including asthma. PATH is investigating the potential to adapt these devices for some vaccines and other therapies of critical importance to developing countries. Visit our page on intranasal and pulmonary technologies to learn more »
  • Oral and sublingual technologies. Vaccines that can be delivered orally, such as oral polio vaccine, are typically easier to deliver than injectable vaccines. PATH works with both vaccine and device/packaging developers to identify and advance novel, low-cost options for oral delivery in low-resource settings. We are also pioneering key achievements in mucosal immunization through the development of sublingual delivery technologies that minimally impact the cold chain, do not require reconstitution, and may better enable certain vaccines to elicit a protective level of immunity against HIV, tuberculosis, acute respiratory tract infections, and diarrheal diseases that enter the body via the mucosa. Visit our page on oral and sublingual technologies to learn more »