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Vaccine and antibiotics stabilized so refrigeration is not needed

July 12, 2012
"This truly exciting development is the culmination of years of creative exploration and research focused on a major problem in the delivery of health care. Dr. Kaplan and his team have done a masterful job at both understanding the key properties of silk, and applying these insights to a global medical challenge,"
- NIBIB Director Roderic I. Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D.

Researchers have developed a new silk-based stabilizer that will provide a new avenue toward eliminating the need to keep some vaccines and antibiotics refrigerated, which could save billions of dollars every year and increase accessibility to third world populations.

Vaccines and antibiotics often need to be refrigerated to prevent alteration of their chemical structures; such alteration can result in less potent or ineffective medications. By immobilizing their bioactive molecules using silk protein matrices, researchers were able to protect and stabilize both live vaccines and antibiotics when stored at higher than recommended temperatures for periods far longer than recommended.

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