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Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Act as a Self-Adjuvant for Ovalbumin Model Antigen in Mice

Authors

  • Donna Mahony,

    1. Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
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  • Antonino S. Cavallaro,

    1. Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
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  • Frances Stahr,

    1. The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
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  • Timothy J. Mahony,

    1. Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
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  • Shi Zhang Qiao,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
    2. School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
    • School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
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  • Neena Mitter

    Corresponding author
    1. Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
    • Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
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Abstract

Immunization to the model protein antigen ovalbumin (OVA) is investigated using MCM-41 mesoporous silica nanoparticles as a novel vaccine delivery vehicle and adjuvant system in mice. The effects of amino surface functionalization and adsorption time on OVA adsorption to nanoparticles are assessed. Amino-functionalized MCM-41 (AM-41) shows an effect on the amount of OVA binding, with 2.5-fold increase in binding capacity (72 mg OVA/g AM-41) compared to nonfunctionalized MCM-41 (29 mg OVA/g MCM-41). Immunization studies in mice with a 10 μg dose of OVA adsorbed to AM-41 elicits both antibody and cell-mediated immune responses following three subcutaneous injections. Immunizations at a lower 2 μg dose of OVA adsorbed to AM-41 particles results in an antibody response but not cell-mediated immunity. The level of antibody responses following immunization with nanoformulations containing either 2 μg or 10 μg of OVA are only slightly lower than that in mice which receive 50 μg OVA adjuvanted with QuilA, a crude mixture of saponins extracted from the bark of the Quillaja saponaria Molina tree. This is a significant result, since it demonstrates that AM-41 nanoparticles are self-adjuvanting and elicit immune responses at reduced antigen doses in vivo compared to a conventional delivery system. Importantly, there are no local or systemic negative effects in animals injected with AM-41. Histopathological studies of a range of tissue organs show no changes in histopathology of the animals receiving nanoparticles over a six week period. These results establish the biocompatible MCM-41 silica nanoparticles as a new method for vaccine delivery which incorporates a self-adjuvant effect.

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