20. Transcutaneous Immunization via Vaccine Patch Delivery System

  1. W. John W. Morrow PhD, DSc, FRCPath2,
  2. Nadeem A. Sheikh PhD3,
  3. Clint S. Schmidt PhD4 and
  4. D. Huw Davies PhD5
  1. Robert C. Seid Jr and
  2. Gregory M. Glenn

Published Online: 20 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch20

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Seid, R. C. and Glenn, G. M. (2012) Transcutaneous Immunization via Vaccine Patch Delivery System, in Vaccinology: Principles and Practice (eds W. J. W. Morrow, N. A. Sheikh, C. S. Schmidt and D. H. Davies), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch20

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 3

    Dendreon Corporation, Seattle, WA, USA

  3. 4

    NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc., Grand Forks, ND, USA

  4. 5

    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. Intercell USA, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185745

Online ISBN: 9781118345313



  • transcutaneous immunization;
  • skin immune system;
  • vaccine patch;
  • vaccine enhancement patch;
  • adjuvants;
  • humoral immunity;
  • cellular immunity;
  • skin preparation system;
  • stratum corneum disruption;
  • dry formulation stability


Transcutaneous immunization (TCI) is continually evolving as an alternative vaccination strategy by targeting the skin immune system. Our laboratory has pioneered two major applications for TCI: (i) a needle-free vaccine patch in which antigen(s) and adjuvant are co-delivered by a patch, and (ii) a vaccine enhancement patch, which is used in combination with an injected vaccine and through which only an adjuvant is delivered on the skin. While the proof-of-concepts of TCI have been demonstrated in numerous animal studies, several recent clinical studies have now come to public notice, demonstrating that vaccine antigens can be delivered topically on the skin to induce immune responses. We provide current perspectives on skin immunology and TCI mechanisms, elaborate on lessons learned from preclinical TCI studies, and present key findings of recent clinical applications of TCI. In addition, we describe recent technical breakthroughs in developing a late-stage, integrated dry vaccine patch delivery system.