Chemical stabilization can have drawbacks. Thimerosal, used at one time for vaccine stabilization, has been discontinued over concerns about the health effects. One promising alternative is adding fibroin, the protein in silk, to a vaccine. This idea, being developed by Vaxess Technologies, received a 2015 Verizon Powerful Answers Award. Silk is widely used in medical applications with a long history of success. It is resistant to microorganism growth. Will it provide sufficient stabilization and not cause side effects? If successful, fibroin could greatly aid vaccination programs. The innovation is described as:
a soluble, silk-stabilized vaccine that can be shipped without refrigeration, and extend the global reach and access to vaccine products.
Insects and insect biomaterials can improve our lives.