Some see sand. We see millions of lives saved.

“We’re researching the use of silica for vaccine preservation and storage. In the future this could help to save millions of lives and I am hopeful it will help us eradicate many vaccine-preventable diseases.”

Dr Asel Sartbaeva, Department of Chemistry

Leading a ground-breaking research project, Asel Sartbaeva, from our Department of Chemistry, is planning to find a way to grow nano-silica around vaccine molecules so that vaccines can be transported and stored anywhere in the world.

Most vaccines need to be refrigerated to stop them degrading. Asel has been using her knowledge of silica to find a way to keep vaccines safe in the heat. Her technique is set to produce a lightweight, easy-to-transport, solid material to house vaccines which doctors can break off when they are ready to administer it.

With an estimated 1.5 million children under five dying every year from vaccine-preventable diseases, Asel’s discovery could increase the availability of life-saving immunisation programmes around the world.

Related links

Find out more about Asel Sartbaeva

New nano coating could preserve vaccines and save millions of lives

Read and listen to Asel’s Google talk