Dynamics of encapsulated hepatitis B surface antigen: a combined neutron spectroscopy and thermo-analysis study

As a consequence of its ordered pore architecture, mesoporous SBA-15 offers new possibilities for incorporating biological agents. Considering its applicability in oral vaccination, which shows more beneficial features when compared with parenteral vaccines, SBA-15 is also seen as a very promising adjuvant to carry, protect, and deliver entrapped antigens. Recent studies have shown several remarkable features in the immunization of hepatitis B, a viral disease transmitted mainly through blood or serum transfer. However, the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus, HBsAg, is too large to fit inside the SBA-15 matrix with mean pore diameter around 10 nm, thus raising the question of how SBA-15 can protect the antigen. In this work, thermal analysis combined with neutron spectroscopy allowed us to shed light on the interactions between HBsAg and SBA-15 as well as on the role that these interactions play in the efficiency of this promising oral vaccination method. This information was obtained by verifying how the dynamic behaviour of the antigen is modified under confinement in SBA-15, thus also establishing an experimental method for verifying molecular dynamics simulations.

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Rasmussen MK., Pereira JE.M., Berg MC., Iles GN., Souza NR., Jalarvo NH., et al. Dynamics of encapsulated hepatitis B surface antigen: a combined neutron spectroscopy and thermo-analysis study. Eur Phys J Spec Top. 2019 Mar:227(17):2393-2399. doi:10.1140/epjst/e2019-700103-x.
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