The Jaklenec Group research at MIT is at the interface of engineering and immunology with a focus on global health. Our work on developing innovative and translatable technologies to help large populations globally and especially in developing countries has been published in high-impact journals including Science, Science Translational Medicine, and Advanced Materials.
The group works on various topics:
- The recently developed SEAL (StampEd Assembly of polymer Layers) technology allows for controlled pulsatile release of biologics days to months after injection, and is currently being applied for single-injection self-boosting vaccines (e.g. IPV, HIV, COVID-19) and cancer immunotherapy.
- A 3D printer for on-demand microneedle vaccines (e.g. Ebola, COVID-19).
- Nanocarrier-based vaccine approaches targeting protective memory responses after parenteral immunization.
- An invisible on-patient record delivered via dissolvable microneedles which can encode information (e.g. immunization history) and be easily read using a minimally-modified smartphone for at least 5 years after application.
- Biofilm-inspired encapsulation of probiotics that can be used for the treatment of complex skin infections including MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
- A pH-responsive mucoadhesive polymeric platform that encapsulates probiotics in order to protect them against gastrointestinal tract insults and improve their adhesion and growth on the intestines. These advantages translate to significantly enhanced survival in vivo.
- A novel heat-stable micronutrient encapsulation platform for food fortification to treat 2 billion people globally who are micronutrient deficient. The group completed 3 human trials with excellent bioavailability and safety.