Martin Müller of the German Cancer Research Center devised a new method of delivering DNA vaccines: by tattooing them!

"We get about 200-fold higher responses compared to conventional injection (of a DNA vaccine)," he said.

Using a modified tattoo gun, Müller tattooed mice with DNA programmed to create human papillomavirus proteins, which generated high levels of antibodies and white blood cells tuned to those antigens.

But the technique comes at a cost — pain — that could limit its application. And there’s no easy way around it because the injury associated with tattooing, Mülller said, is likely a key ingredient in generating an effective immune response.

Link (Photo: Martin Müller)