A 3D vaccine developed by researchers may provide an effective way of harnessing the immune system to fight infectious diseases.

The vaccine spontaneously assembles into a scaffold under the skin that temporarily creates an “infection-mimicking microenvironment” capable of attracting, housing, and reprogramming millions of dendritic cells over a period of several weeks.

David Mooney, PhD, a professor of bioengineering at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, says that in addition to continuing to develop a cancer vaccine, he also plans to explore how the injectable scaffold can be used to both treat and prevent infectious diseases.

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