Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles

Date:
January 7, 2014
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
Engineers hope a new type of vaccine they have shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. Immunizations could be administered within minutes where and when a disease is breaking out.

This image shows a collection of vaccinating nanoparticles, which at their largest are about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. The inset graphic is a representation of how the engineered proteins decorate a nanoparticle’s surface.
Credit: University of Washington

Vaccines combat diseases and protect populations from outbreaks, but the life-saving technology leaves room for improvement. Vaccines usually are made en masse in centralized locations far removed from where they will be used. They are expensive to ship and keep refrigerated and they tend to have short shelf lives.

Related Articles


University of Washington engineers hope a new type of vaccine they have shown to work in mice will one day make it cheaper and easy to manufacture on-demand vaccines for humans. Immunizations could be administered within minutes where and when a disease is breaking out.

"We're really excited about this technology because it makes it possible to produce a vaccine on the spot. For instance, a field doctor could see the beginnings of an epidemic, make vaccine doses right away, and blanket vaccinate the entire population in the affected area to prevent the spread of an epidemic," said Franηois Baneyx, a UW professor of chemical engineering and lead author of a recent paper published online in the journal Nanomedicine.

The research was funded by a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

In typical vaccines, weakened pathogens or proteins found on the surface of microbes and viruses are injected into the body along with compounds called adjuvants to prepare a person's immune system to fight a particular disease. But standard formulations don't always work, and the field is seeking ways to manufacture vaccines quicker, cheaper and tailored to specific infectious agents, Baneyx said.

The UW team injected mice with nanoparticles synthesized using an engineered protein that both mimics the effect of an infection and binds to calcium phosphate, the inorganic compound found in teeth and bones. After eight months, mice that contracted the disease made threefold the number of protective "killer" T-cells -- a sign of a long-lasting immune response -- compared with mice that had received the protein but no calcium phosphate nanoparticles.

The nanoparticles appear to work by ferrying the protein to the lymph nodes where they have a higher chance of meeting dendritic cells, a type of immune cell that is scarce in the skin and muscles, but plays a key role in activating strong immune responses.

In a real-life scenario, genetically engineered proteins based on those displayed at the surface of pathogens would be freeze-dried or dehydrated and mixed with water, calcium and phosphate to make the nanoparticles. This should work with many different diseases and be especially useful for viral infections that are hard to vaccinate against, Baneyx said.

He cautioned, however, that it has only been proven in mice, and the development of vaccines using this method hasn't begun for humans.

The approach could be useful in the future for vaccinating people in developing countries, especially when lead time and resources are scarce, Baneyx said. It would cut costs by not having to rely on refrigeration, and vaccines could be produced with rudimentary equipment in more precise, targeted numbers. The vaccines could be manufactured and delivered using a disposable patch, like a bandage, which could one day lessen the use of trained personnel and hypodermic needles.

Co-authors of the paper are Weibin Zhou, Albanus Moguche and David Chiu of the UW, and Kaja Murali-Krishna of Emory University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. The original article was written by Michelle Ma. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Weibin Zhou, Albanus O. Moguche, David Chiu, Kaja Murali-Krishna, Franηois Baneyx. Just-in-time vaccines: Biomineralized calcium phosphate core-immunogen shell nanoparticles induce long-lasting CD8 T cell responses in mice. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2013.11.007

Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107134312.htm>.
University of Washington. (2014, January 7). On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107134312.htm
University of Washington. "On-demand vaccines possible with engineered nanoparticles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140107134312.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) — As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Dads-To-Be Also Experience Hormone Changes During Pregnancy

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — A study from University of Michigan researchers found that expectant fathers see a decrease in testosterone as the baby's birth draws near. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins