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Research Highlights

SNU Professor Creates Vaccine Delivery System in Third World Countries

  • August 3, 2016
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SNU Engineering students in Nepal with the portable vaccine storage
SNU Engineering students in Nepal with the portable vaccine storage

In developing countries, electricity is scarce and many people are in need of medical treatment, especially vaccinations. Over the past few years, SNU Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Professor AHN Sung-Hoon and his team, which is comprised of his students and the organization, Scientists and Engineers Without Borders (SEWB), have been working on a delivery method to provide vaccinations to citizens of developing countries.

Many vaccines are made from proteins such as antigens, which trigger the immune response, thus building up resistance to a disease. Because the vaccines are created from proteins, they need to be stored in temperatures from 2-8 degrees Celsius. Since refrigerators are not common in many developing countries, it is difficult to supply people with vaccines and other medicines.

To overcome this problem, Professor Ahn and his team have come up with an efficient system to deliver vaccines in developing countries. The team has created a system in which vaccines are transported in miniature refrigerators that are carried via motorcycles. In this way, the vaccines can be stored in proper temperatures while they are delivered to far corners of these regions. Thanks to Professor Ahn, thousands more now have access to vaccination.

Written by Yu Young Jin
Proofread by Professor Travis Lamar Smith

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