ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Sandia National Laboratories has snagged a federal grant to develop a new microscopic delivery system for a vaccine against chemical and biological weapons.

According to the Albuquerque Journal ( , the four-year $10.8 million grant awarded by the Department of Defense builds on Sandia's creation of a particle known as the protocell.

That technology is already being used to fight diseases. The new effort is aimed at delivering antibiotics to tissue targeted by two types of bacteria that have been used in weapons.

Sandia researcher Eric Carnes says protocells are particularly promising as an antibiotic delivery system because they are engineered to specifically target infected tissue.

The project will begin with laboratory tests at the University of New Mexico. Additional tests at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute will follow.