Indian origin scientist plans to create vaccine pills from plant pollen
An Indian origin scientist is working on a project to develop vaccine pills from tiny pollen particles.
Harvinder Gill, a chemical engineer at Texas Tech University, is planning to harness the power of pollen's natural engineering - a tough outer shell made from a polymer that could survive the human body's stomach acids and digestive processes, Fox News reported.
His new project has received military funding from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Oral vaccines skip the pain of a needle injection and don't need trained medical personnel to administer. But researchers have struggled to create vaccine pills that can survive long enough inside the body to properly deliver the vaccine.
Gill plans to scoop out the pollen's allergy-causing innards and leave just the nonallergenic outer shell. The empty shells could then be used to fill vaccine.
Gill is one of the academic researchers who received funding through DARPA's Young Faculty Awards program.
His funded project will become part of DARPA's broader efforts to make battlefield medicine both simpler and more effective for troops.