This RNA pill could be provide a new way to ingest vaccines

Researchers from MIT have developed a capsule that can be swallowed to administer an RNA vaccine without requiring an injection.

Published Tue, Feb 1 2022 4:00 AM CST   |   Updated Sun, Feb 27 2022 7:26 PM CST

A newly published study in the journal Matter describes the RNA pill.

This RNA pill could be provide a new way to ingest vaccines 01 |

A research team from MIT has developed a capsule containing RNA to administer vaccines, hoping to bypass the need for injections such vaccines usually require. They were able to deliver up to 150 micrograms of RNA into the stomach of pigs, an amount greater than the 30 to 100 micrograms of mRNA found in COVID-19 vaccines.

"Nucleic acids, in particular RNA, can be extremely sensitive to degradation particularly in the digestive tract. Overcoming this challenge opens up multiple approaches to therapy, including potential vaccination through the oral route," says Giovanni Traverso, the Karl van Tassel Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The capsule has been used previously to deliver solid drugs like insulin and liquid monoclonal antibodies into the stomach lining. To administer the nucleic acids found in RNA and DNA, the researchers paired them with protective nanoparticles and detected successful uptake of the RNA into the stomach cells.

"When you have systemic delivery through intravenous injection or subcutaneous injection, it's not very easy to target the stomach. We see this as a potential way to treat different diseases that are present in the gastrointestinal tract," said Alex Abramson Ph.D.

You can read more from the study here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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