Novel technology for storage and distribution of live vaccines and other biological medicines at ambient temperature

Sci Adv. 2020 Mar 4;6(10):eaau4819. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau4819. eCollection 2020 Mar.


A novel, thin-film platform that preserves live viruses, bacteria, antibodies, and enzymes without refrigeration for extended periods of time is described. Studies with recombinant adenovirus in an optimized formulation that supports recovery of live virus through 16 freeze-thaw cycles revealed that production of an amorphous solid with a glass transition above room temperature and nitrogen-hydrogen bonding between virus and film components are critical determinants of stability. Administration of live influenza virus in the optimized film by the sublingual and buccal routes induced antibody-mediated immune responses as good as or better than those achieved by intramuscular injection. This work introduces the possibility of improving global access to a variety of medicines by offering a technology capable of reducing costs of production, distribution, and supply chain maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Adenoviridae / immunology*
  • Administration, Buccal
  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / biosynthesis
  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunization / methods*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / pathogenicity
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Male
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / prevention & control*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Preservation, Biological / methods*
  • Temperature
  • Vaccine Potency
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / biosynthesis
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / pharmacology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Vaccines, Attenuated