Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Expert Available to Discuss Use of Microneedles for Vaccine Delivery

Allen Ramsey

August 15, 2022

Harvinder Gill

The FDA has approved intradermal delivery for monkeypox vaccines.


U.S. health officials are planning to use intradermal injections, a method requiring a smaller dose of a vaccine, to help increase the impact of the monkeypox vaccines currently available. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorization to administer the Jyennos monkeypox vaccine through intradermal injections at one-fifth of the substance dose.  

Whitacre Endowed Chair of Science and Engineering Harvinder Gill, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech University's Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, studies the use of micro-and-nano- systems for drug and vaccine delivery. His expertise is in the use of microneedles. 

Microneedles are a new technology that can deliver the vaccine into the skin in a painless manner and target the skin cells precisely. 

Gill points out that there have been studies on the delivery of the smallpox vaccine using microneedles in the past and that smallpox and monkeypox are related diseases. In fact, the Jyennos vaccine is labeled as a vaccine for both smallpox and monkeypox. 

A Phase II clinical trial performed in 2015 compared the subcutaneous and intradermal routes for Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vaccination and concluded that the intradermal method at one-fifth the dose was as effective as the standard subcutaneous injection, which means the intradermal method could stretch the vaccine stock by fivefold. 


Harvinder Gill, Professor and Whitacre Endowed Chair of Science and Engineering, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-3682 or harvinder.gill@ttu.edu


  • The Jynneos smallpox/monkeypox vaccine consists of the orthopoxvirus strain MVA Bavarian Nordic. Microneedles have been used to deliver a similar MVA strain into the skin of mice, resulting in the production of antibodies, suggesting that microneedles can offer a viable approach for monkeypox skin vaccination. 
  • Microneedles can offer vaccine stability and have the potential to allow storage of the vaccine at room temperatures, presenting significant benefits for vaccine distribution without the need for cold storage.