Injectable hydrogel vaccine found to be more effective than liquid vaccine types

September 23, 2020

Vaccines, obtained from a dead virus, confer resistance to infectious diseases by stimulating the immune system into producing antibodies that work against the actual live virus, should a person become infected with it. However, typical liquid vaccines are active for only a short period within the body, something akin to two days instead of two weeks. A new injectable hydrogel developed by scientists at Stanford University, US, lasts longer and would ensure the immune system produces virus-killing antibodies over a longer time.

The experimental hydrogel contains nanoparticles of a biocompatible polymer, and, when mixed with viral antigens and an adjuvant helps stimulate the immune system into action.When injected under the skin of lab mice, the hydrogel produced an inflamed area that attracted immune cells. It also released the antigens and adjuvant over a period of several days more than usual.

The mice were later noted to have produced a greater number of antibodies over a longer time, as compared to a control group of traditionally vaccinated mice. Additionally, the antibodies produced by the experimental group had an approximately 1,000-fold higher affinity for theantigens, meaning they would be that much more successful at targeting and eliminating them.

The study demonstrates a simple, effective vaccine delivery method that enhances the duration of antibody-mediated immunity in mice, the scientists said. They plan to modify the hydrogel technology to see how effective it would be against specific diseases.


Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

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