The development of new oral vaccines using porous silica

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Ordered mesoporous silica was proved to be an efficient oral adjuvant capable to deliver a wide in size variety of different antigens, promoting efficient immunogenicity. This material can be used in single or polivalent vaccines, which have been developed by a group of Brazilian scientists. The experiments performed with the model protein Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) gave the first promissing results, that were also achieved by testing the virus like particle surface antigen of hepatitis B (HBsAg) and diphtheria anatoxin (dANA). Nanostructured ordered mesoporous silica, SBA-15 type, with bi-dimensional hexagonal porous symmetry was used to encapsulate the antigens either in the mesoporous (pore diameter ~10 nm) or macroporous ( pore diameter > 50 nm) regions. This silica vehicle proved to be capable to create an inflammatory response, did not exhibit toxicity, being effective to induce immunity in high and low responder mice towards antibody production. The silica particles are in the range of micrometer size, leaving no trace in mice organs due to its easy expulsion by faeces. The methods of Physics, usually employed to characterize the structure, composition and morphology of materials are of fundamental importance to develop proper oral vaccines in order to state the ideal antigen load to avoid clustering and to determine the rate of antigen release in different media mimicking body fluids.
Oliveira C.L.P., Lopes J.L.S., Sant'anna OA, Botosso VF, Bordallo HN, Fantini MCA. The development of new oral vaccines using porous silica. J. Phys. Condens. Matter. 2022 Apr; 34(26):264001. doi:10.1088/1361-648X/ac6559.
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