Maksim Mezhericher and Howard Stone: Rapid dehydration of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals

Aug. 30, 2022

A new rapid dehydration technique converts liquid drugs and vaccine formulations into dried powders with improved stability at room temperature.

Howard Stone and Maksim Mezhericher

Howard Stone and Maksim Mezhericher. Photo by David Kelly Crow and provided by Maksim Mezhericher.

The technology could lower the cost and improve the stability and reliability of vaccines and biological medications, including several cancer therapies. The new approach uses a proprietary liquid atomization process to evaporate solvent from droplets at room temperature, generating a dry powder that could eliminate the need for the maintenance of a “cold chain” in which therapeutics and vaccines must be refrigerated or frozen during transportation and distribution.

The powdered formulation of provides improved product quality and safety, enhanced versatility, increased production capacity, longer shelf life, lower operating costs and decreased carbon footprint. By cutting the need for energy-intensive refrigeration, providers can make vaccines and therapies available to patients in areas lacking adequate infrastructure. The technology could reduce or eliminate the maintenance costs and space requirements associated with freezer equipment.

The team has also invented a technique that enables microencapsulation of sensitive biological materials for storage, protection and gradual release. This simple, scalable and cost-effective method produces micron-sized particles consisting of a solid core and a porous exterior shell. The technology enables encapsulation of various materials via a proprietary liquid atomization process to generate droplets that have a layered core-shell structure. The diameter of the core-shell droplets can be tailored in the submicron to micron size range.

Collaborators: Rina Dukor and Yelena Pyatski, BioTools, Inc.; Sadegh Poozesh, AstraZeneca; Shurik Yatom, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Team Members: Postdoctoral Research Associate Zehao Pan

Development status: Patent pending. A startup company, Inaedis Inc., has been created to develop this technology.

Funding: Princeton University Intellectual Property Accelerator Fund, Princeton Collaborative Low Temperature Plasma Research Facility. External funding by University City Science Center’s QED Proof-of-Concept Program, National Institutes of Health, New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science, New Jersey Health Foundation, Foundation for Health Advancement.

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Licensing contact:
Prabhpreet Gill
Technology Licensing Associate
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