Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Engineering Immunity

PostedJune 15, 2008

Randy Atkins:  Vaccines contain key parts of dangerous microbes that turn on our bodies' defenses.  Darrell Irvine, an MIT engineering professor, wants to ensure maximum immunity by attaching those molecular "triggers" to tiny escort particles.

Darrell Irvine:  Materials that will help get a given molecule that you need in a vaccine into the right cells at the right place and the right time to make a protective immune response happen.

Randy Atkins:  Irvine's also engineering a liquid that could be mixed with certain drugs and injected at a specific site of disease, where it solidifies…

Darrell Irvine:  And helps sort of alert the immune system of where it needs to be and what it needs to be doing.

Randy Atkins:  Such immunity boosting technologies, though, are still several years away.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103.5 FM, WTOP Radio.