The use of particulate polymeric carriers holds great promise for the development of effective and affordable DNA and protein subunit vaccines. Rational development of such vaccine formulations requires a detailed understanding of their physico-chemical properties, cell-free and in vitro behaviour, in addition to particle uptake and processing mechanisms to antigen presenting cells capable of stimulating safe and effective immune responses. We here provide an overview on functional polymeric nano- and micro-particles designed for surface adsorption of proteins and DNA antigens currently under investigation for the formulation of new vaccines, including comments on their preparation method, antigen delivery strategy, cell-free and in vitro behaviour. In addition, we focus on their influence in activating antigen-specific humoral and/or cellular immune responses and on their potential for the development of new vaccines.
Keywords: Nanoparticles, microparticles, antigen surface adsorption, adjuvants, DNA, protein, vaccines
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