Nanocarriers for Vaccine and Gene Delivery Application

Nanocarriers for Vaccine and Gene Delivery Application

Behiye Şenel (Anadolu University, Turkey) and Gülay Büyükköroğlu (Anadolu University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4781-5.ch014


Nanocarriers with various compositions and biological properties are frequently used systems for in-vitro/in-vivo vaccination and gene transfer. In recent years, developments in nanotechnology have focused on the design and synthesis of nanocarriers that have new properties and can be modified for gene and vaccine delivery. In the favorable results obtained from in-vivo studies performed, they increase interest in these developments and pave the way for their therapeutic use. Nanocarriers have become increasingly important because they can stabilize vaccine antigens and serve as adjuvants, with the advantage of easily transporting genetic material to the target site. In nanocarriers, the molecules involved are adsorbed to the surface or encapsulated in particulates. At the same time, surface modification of nanoparticles allows these systems to carry cargo molecules easily to target site. Among the most studied nanocarriers, lipidic and polymeric systems dendrimers, inorganic nanoparticles, cyclodextrins, cell penetration peptides, and ISCOMs are attracting attention.
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Gene therapy is a rapidly advancing field with great potential for treating genetic and acquired systemic diseases. This therapy involves the introduction of foreign genetic material into target cells to alter a genetic sequence. Viral and nonviral vectors are used for this purpose. Viral vectors are the most effective ones, but their applications are limited due to their immunogenicity, oncogenicity, and limited DNA size that they can carry. However, nonviral vectors are safer, less costly, and easier to produce. Moreover, the size of the genetic material that they carry is not limited. Despite improvements in the recent years, low transfection efficiency is still a disadvantage in nonviral systems (Dorraj, Carreras, Nunez, Abushammala, & Melero, 2017).

Significant progress has been made in traditional vaccination strategies with the developments in biotechnology. In these strategies, the development of vaccine systems in combination with nanostructures, or the use of nanostructures as adjuvants, has facilitated an effective humoral, cellular, and mucosal immunity. These new approaches involve a variety of innovative methods producing effective host responses (Kalam, Khan, & Alshamsan, 2017).

Nanostructures can be designed in a complex manner to be used for treating various diseases. Especially having particles of nanosize in the designed nanocarrier systems affects the gene/vaccine-carrying capacity and the efficacy of these systems in the medical applications. The particle size in the transport systems is an important parameter for reaching the target area from the circulatory system and to be taken out of the cell. These carriers not only increase the effectiveness of the vaccine and genetic material, but also help to release them into the right place. Therefore, it is extremely important to know the physicochemical properties of the carrier system together with cellular and biological properties in nanostructure-mediated gene or vaccine transport, and to make a design by taking all these parameters into consideration.

The aim of this chapter is to provide information and examples of common nanocarriers currently used in gene and vaccine delivery. the general perspective of the article.

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