South Carolina Patent of the Month – January 2021

A common method to make vaccines is through inactivating the virus of interest. The inactivated virus is unable to replicate and is therefore a safe method to build immunity even in people with weakened immune systems. Vaccines require preparation including inactivation of the virus, antibiotics or preservatives to prevent bacterial growth, and stabilizers to help maintain efficiency during storage. Some viruses are resistant to inactivation and might require rigorous conditions to fully inactivate. Unfortunately this can damage the virus and prevent effective immunity building. Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc.  (SETi) developed a vaccine preparation method using ultraviolet radiation for viral inactivation.

Ultraviolet radiation is considered germicidal which means exposure deactivates the DNA of bacteria and viruses and removes their ability to replicate. Different viruses or bacteria require different dosages or wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation. This system for vaccine preparation involves experimentation with the wavelength and dosage of ultraviolet radiation to achieve viral inactivation. The dose required can be tested on cultures of live infectious organisms. The correct dose will inactivate the virus without affecting the efficacy of the immunogenic response of the vaccine. When the correct dose is determined, the viral inactivation will not damage the outer shell of the virus. An intact viral shell will lead to optimal immunity building. SETi’s viral inactivation system could lead to the production of more effective vaccines, protecting us from viral and bacterial diseases.

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