The fight against infectious diseases: vaccines should now be chemical free
In the production of vital vaccines are often used toxic chemicals. German researchers have now developed a novel technology that uses electron beams. This method allows you to be free for the first time, Dead vaccines, chemicals, quickly and reproducibly prepared.
Protection against infectious diseases
Vaccinations are a very effective agent against various infectious diseases. However, it is still a difficult undertaking, the production of vaccines. In the Dead vaccines, the disease must be killed pathogens without changing their structure. This is done so far, mostly with toxic chemicals. A new technology of researchers of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft uses rays instead of electrons and allows for the first time free, Dead vaccines, chemicals, quickly and reproducibly prepared.
Vaccines trigger an immune response of the body
What vaccinations are advised, is set in Germany, of the Standing Committee on vaccination (STIKO) at the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI).
Vaccinations against polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, and Tetanus program at the children’s doctor for decades the Standard.
Such as the Fraunhofer society, stated in a communication, many of the vaccines, Dead vaccines – the pathogens have been killed in it and can harm the body of the patient, thus, nothing more.
Nevertheless, they trigger an immune response: The body recognizes them as foreign and initiates the immune response by forming the appropriate anti-body against the disease protects.
Remnants of the toxic chemicals remain in the vaccine
For the preparation of the vaccines, pathogens are bred in large numbers and then by chemicals killed. In most cases, the toxic formaldehyde is not used here – are highly diluted, so that it does not harm the people later at the time of vaccination.
However, the low concentration also brings disadvantages: The poison must usually several days to weeks on the pathogens interact with, which has an unfavorable effect on the structure of the pathogen and on the reproducibility of the vaccine production
It needs to go quickly, such as, for example, in the case of Influenza vaccination, there is a resort to higher doses of formaldehyde. Here, however, must follow an elaborate Filtration. Nevertheless, remnants of the toxic chemicals in the vaccine remain.
Electron beams to kill pathogens
According to the Fraunhofer Institute, pharmaceutical companies can manufacture in the future, Dead vaccines, which contain no residues of chemicals – and furthermore, quickly and reproducibly.
Particular potential scientists see in the production of vaccines, which could not be produced by chemical inactivation.
Experts from the Fraunhofer Institute for cell therapy and immunology IZI, for manufacturing engineering and automation IPA, for Organic electronics, electron beam and plasma technology FEP, as well as for interfacial engineering and biotechnology IGB have developed the appropriate procedures.
To disable “instead of the pathogens by means of chemicals, we use low-energy electron radiation,” says Martin Thoma, group leader at Fraunhofer IPA.
The accelerated electrons break the DNA of pathogens, either through direct impacts or secondary produce electrons, which then lead in turn to a double – or single-strand breaks.
The DNA of the pathogen is shredded by the electrons, literally, while the outer structure of the pathogen remains intact. This, in turn, is essential to an effective immune protection to trigger.
Techniques have been newly developed
The challenge here is that The electrons do not penetrate too deep into the Suspension with the pathogens – for a homogeneous dose distribution, the liquid level should not be higher than 200 micro-meters.
The appropriate techniques was not yet available, they were developed at the Fraunhofer IPA.
The first method: A roll is continuously wetted with the pathogen suspension, irradiated, and then inactivated fluid in a sterile vessel. So there are two liquid reservoirs: One with active and one with inactive agents – role connected to the rotating.
“It is a continuous process, which can be excellent for the production of vaccines, scale them up,” explains Thoma.
The second approach is suitable especially for smaller volumes, such as in the research and the development of the vaccine used. Here, the solution with the pathogens, it is in sachets, which are guided by means of a patented process by the electron radiation.
Cooperation the project base was
Such a project requires different expertise, covering the four participating institutes optimally. The researchers at the Fraunhofer IZI were, among other things, for the cultivation of the various pathogens responsible about a for bird and horse flu.
“We have also examined after irradiation, together with colleagues from the Fraunhofer IGB, whether these have been completely inactivated and, therefore, an effective Vaccination offer,” says Dr. Sebastian Ulbert, head of Department at the Fraunhofer IZI and the Initiator of the project.
The Know-how with respect to the electron irradiation, the scientists at the Fraunhofer FEP.
They developed a system that is dosed in the low-energy electron-accurately – finally, the genome of the pathogen to be destroyed, although reliable, their structure must remain intact, so that the human immune system can make the appropriate anti-body.
The process already works, and not only in the laboratory scale:
“In the fall of 2018, we have taken at the Fraunhofer IZI, a research and test facility in operation. With the continuous module – that is, the liquid-wetted roll we can manufacture are currently four liters of vaccine per hour,“ said Ulbert.
That is scales very close to the Industry: pathogen Suspension in some vaccines, for example, from 15 liters of a Million doses of the Vaccine. Also, conversations with industry partners.
Up first with electrons-produced vaccines to radiation in the clinical trial, it will take at least two to four years. (ad)