The recent vigorous transnational migration of people and materials reflecting the development of transportation facilities, changes in social structure, and war disasters has increased the global spread of emerging and re-emerging infections. Once, as the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus, person-to-person transmission was achieved, the spread of pandemic cannot be contained in reality. Thus enhancement of the crisis-management structure against pandemic is critically important to maintain national function. On the basis of this social background, the development of vaccination, which is the only fundamental prophylaxis, is in attention, and earliest possible establishment of system that supply mass-vaccines in a short time is required. Even if, however, rapid manufacture of vaccine antigen is actualized, there are several problems that vaccine is not easily spread across the developing country and mass vaccination is not performed immediately at the time of the crisis, because conventional vaccination is performed mainly by injection. Our research group developed transcutaneous vaccine devices; a hydrogel patch and a dissolving microneedle array which delivered antigens to antigen-presenting cells in the epidermal layer. Our transcutaneous vaccination system receives a high evaluation as novel, easy-to-use, and less-invasive vaccination method against infections from home and abroad. In this review, we introduce the research progress resulted from our basic, preclinical, and clinical study for practical use.
2012 by the PHARMACEUTICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN