New Technology in Wafer Form

June 7, 2021

A team of researchers have developed new vaccine technology in wafer form: a polymer wafer that resembles the holy Host at Catholic Mass may someday be used to deliver vaccines.

Photo Credit: Polymeric Biomaterials Lab, University of Minnesota

Article by LifeSiteNews

A team of researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Texas have developed a polymer “wafer,” which bears a striking resemblance to the Host used at a Catholic Mass, that they predict could become the vaccine of the future. …

The study, (entitled, “Mucoadhesive wafers composed of binary polymer blends for sublingual delivery and preservation of protein vaccines”) published in the peer reviewed medical journal, Journal of Controlled Release, explained that the membrane on the underside of the tongue leant itself to absorbing drugs very effectively. 

While the membrane could easily absorb smaller molecules, the larger molecules used in vaccines and experimental injections (such as new covid-19 injections) are too large to enter in this manner and hence are delivered via needles in the arm. 

However, the research team believes that the wafer will offer a solution to that, having already proved that the wafer works with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) proteins, and has been designed with a potential future HIV vaccine in mind. The team noted, though, that the wafers could be used in the future to deliver covid-19 vaccines. 

The wafer itself is predominately composed of alginate and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). According to reports, the alginate ensures that the proteins do not disintegrate and the CMC works to keep the wafer connected to the membrane in order for the proteins to be imparted.

In a press release from the University of Minnesota, Chun Wang, one of the study’s authors and associate professor in the university’s College of Science and Engineering, expressed hope that the technology could revolutionise the future of vaccines. “This is just a small step in this long journey,” Wang said. “If we continue this line of work, it can bring us to a point where we will have vaccines – they could be based on DNA, RNA, proteins – that can be stored without refrigeration and easily delivered under the tongue at the sublingual site.”

“They will be quickly disseminated throughout the world because they don’t rely on certain equipment and preservation and all of that stuff. This will be particularly good for low-resource regions of the world, even in America – rural areas that are lacking certain essential facilities and infrastructure.”

Catholics commenting on the wafer have noted the obvious and striking similarity to the Host used at every Catholic Mass, which after the words of Consecration becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. In fact, the wafer developed by the team of researchers appears physically to be almost identical to those used at Mass.

Should it come to be used as a means to deliver covid-19 vaccines, comparisons would certainly be drawn between what has been described as the “church” of covid and the Catholic Church’s own sacramental rites. 

News Release from the University of Minnesota
Full Study “Mucoadhesive wafers composed of binary polymer blends for sublingual delivery and preservation of protein vaccines”