Modulation of injectable hydrogel properties for slow co-delivery of influenza subunit vaccine components enhance the potency of humoral immunity.
Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A
Vaccines are critical for combating infectious diseases across the globe. Influenza, for example, kills roughly 500,000 people annually worldwide, despite annual vaccination campaigns. Efficacious vaccines must elicit a robust and durable antibody response, and poor efficacy often arises from inappropriate temporal control over antigen and adjuvant presentation to the immune system. In this work, we sought to exploit the immune system's natural response to extended pathogen exposure during infection by designing an easily administered slow-delivery influenza vaccine platform. We utilized an injectable and self-healing polymer-nanoparticle (PNP) hydrogel platform to prolong the co-delivery of vaccine components to the immune system. We demonstrated that these hydrogels exhibit unique dynamic physical characteristics whereby physicochemically distinct influenza hemagglutinin antigen and a toll-like receptor 7/8 agonist adjuvant could be co-delivered over prolonged timeframes that were tunable through simple alteration of the gel formulation. We show a relationship between hydrogel physical properties and the resulting immune response to immunization. When administered in mice, hydrogel-based vaccines demonstrated enhancements in the magnitude and duration of humoral immune responses compared to alum, a widely used clinical adjuvant system. We found stiffer hydrogel formulations exhibited slower release and resulted in the greatest improvements to the antibody response while also enabling significant adjuvant dose sparing. In summary, this work introduces a simple and effective vaccine delivery platform that increases the potency and durability of influenza subunit vaccines.
View details for DOI 10.1002/jbm.a.37203
View details for PubMedID 33955657
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