Prototype needle-free drug and vaccine delivery device

Dr Mark Kendall, an Oxford University Research Lecturer in Engineering and Associate Director of the PowderJect Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery Research, has been named one of the top younger engineers in the country for his research into needle-free vaccine delivery technology.

The RWE Npower Section Award was presented to Dr Kendall by Richard Page MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, at a ceremony at the House of Commons in December. The event, organised by Science Engineering and Technology (SET) for Britain, recognises the achievements of Engineers aged 21-35.

Dr Kendall received the award for his paper ‘Engineering ballistic needle-free drug and vaccine delivery to the skin.’ Since joining the PowderJect Centre in the Department of Engineering Science in 1998 Dr Kendall has applied his expertise in fluid mechanics to the rapidly changing field of biomedical engineering, and in particular to the development of technology for the needle-free delivery of both conventional and DNA vaccines.

With colleagues in the Medical Engineering Unit, Dr Kendall is currently working on the development of devices that use compressed gas to accelerate microscopic particles of a drug at velocities sufficient to penetrate the skin. A multidisciplinary team is now developing this technology for use in the developing world, where over two million children die of vaccine preventable illnesses annually. Using a novel multi-photon microscopy system, Dr Kendall is exploring the biological responses induced in the skin by drug and vaccine particles.

Commenting on the award Dr Kendall said: ‘It is an honour to receive acknowledgement for my research through this award. Engineering in the United Kingdom is very dynamic and strong and it feels marvellous to be contributing at this new boundary of engineering and biology.’

For more information on the research conducted by the PowderJect Centre for Gene and Drug Delivery Research visit their website.

http://www.ox.ac.uk

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