No-needle nanotech gets cash injection

People with a fear of injections may soon have no need to avoid a visit to the doctor, thanks to pioneering research from Australia.

Professor Mark Kendall from the University of Queensland (UQ) has won a three year grant worth AUS$300,000 (£125,000) to research how nanotechnology may replace syringes in administering therapeutics. The biomedical engineer was awarded the Queensland Government Smart State Senior Fellowship for his work, which could eventually replace needles with ‘nano patches’ on the skin.

“There is an explosion of designer drugs requiring precise delivery to specific locations in the skin and we are producing new delivery methods that are practical and needle-free,” Professor Kendall said.

“We are targeting immunologically sensitive cells to produce improved immune responses in the treatment of major diseases such as HIV, malaria and allergies.

“This has enormous potential, including for the delivery of cheap and more effective vaccinations in the developing world.”

The grant boosts funding for Professor Kendall’s project by AUS$540,000 (£225,500) over three years, as biotech firm Coridon intends to commit AUS$240,000 (£100,000) in cash and kind as the industry co-sponsor.

Professor Kendall is a UQ graduate who recently returned from the University of Oxford, where he achieved commercial success with a bioballistic gene gun. He was the Associate Director of the PowderJect Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery at Oxford.