Microarray patches enable the development of skin-targeted vaccines against COVID-19

02 Feb 2021
Emrullah Korkmaz, Stephen C. Balmert, Tina L. Sumpter, Cara Donahue Carey, Geza Erdos, Louis D. Falo

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious threat to global health and the global economy. The ongoing race to develop a safe and efficacious vaccine to prevent infection by SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19, highlights the importance of vaccination to combat infectious pathogens. The highly accessible cutaneous microenvironment is an ideal target for vaccination since the skin harbors a high density of antigen-presenting cells and immune accessory cells with broad innate immune functions. Microarray patches (MAPs) are an attractive intracutaneous biocargo delivery system that enables safe, reproducible, and controlled administration of vaccine components (antigens, with or without adjuvants) to defined skin microenvironments. This review describes the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and relevant antigenic targets for vaccination, summarizes key concepts of skin immunobiology in the context of prophylactic immunization, and presents an overview of MAP-mediated cutaneous vaccine delivery. Concluding remarks on MAP-based skin immunization are provided to contribute to the rational development of safe and effective MAP-delivered vaccines against emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19.