Navigation Links
MIT engineers design new nanoparticle that could lead to vaccines for HIV, malaria, other diseases
Date:2/22/2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- MIT engineers have designed a new type of nanoparticle that could safely and effectively deliver vaccines for diseases such as HIV and malaria.

The new particles, described in the Feb. 20 issue of Nature Materials, consist of concentric fatty spheres that can carry synthetic versions of proteins normally produced by viruses. These synthetic particles elicit a strong immune response comparable to that produced by live virus vaccines but should be much safer, says Darrell Irvine, author of the paper and an associate professor of materials science and engineering and biological engineering.

Such particles could help scientists develop vaccines against cancer as well as infectious diseases. In collaboration with scientists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Irvine and his students are now testing the nanoparticles' ability to deliver an experimental malaria vaccine in mice.

Vaccines protect the body by exposing it to an infectious agent that primes the immune system to respond quickly when it encounters the pathogen again. In many cases, such as with the polio and smallpox vaccines, a dead or disabled form of the virus is used. Other vaccines, such as the diphtheria vaccine, consist of a synthetic version of a protein or other molecule normally made by the pathogen.

When designing a vaccine, scientists try to provoke at least one of the human body's two major players in the immune response: T cells, which attack body cells that have been infected with a pathogen; or B cells, which secrete antibodies that target viruses or bacteria present in the blood and other body fluids.

For diseases in which the pathogen tends to stay inside cells, such as HIV, a strong response from a type of T cell known as "killer" T cell is required. The best way to provoke these cells into action is to use a killed or disabled virus, but that cannot be done with HIV because it's difficult to render the virus harmless.

To get around the danger of using live viruses, scientists are working on synthetic vaccines for HIV and other viral infections such as hepatitis B. However, these vaccines, while safer, do not elicit a very strong T cell response. Recently, scientists have tried encasing the vaccines in fatty droplets called liposomes, which could help promote T cell responses by packaging the protein in a virus-like particle. However, these liposomes have poor stability in blood and body fluids.

Irvine, who is a member of MIT's David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, decided to build on the liposome approach by packaging many of the droplets together in concentric spheres. Once the liposomes are fused together, adjacent liposome walls are chemically "stapled" to each other, making the structure more stable and less likely to break down too quickly following injection. However, once the nanoparticles are absorbed by a cell, they degrade quickly, releasing the vaccine and provoking a T cell response.

In tests with mice, Irvine and his colleagues used the nanoparticles to deliver a protein called ovalbumin, an egg-white protein commonly used in immunology studies because biochemical tools are available to track the immune response to this molecule. They found that three immunizations of low doses of the vaccine produced a strong T cell response after immunization, up to 30 percent of all killer T cells in the mice were specific to the vaccine protein.

That is one of the strongest T cell responses generated by a protein vaccine, and comparable to strong viral vaccines, but without the safety concerns of live viruses, says Irvine. Importantly, the particles also elicit a strong antibody response.

In addition to the malaria studies with scientists at Walter Reed, Irvine is also working on developing the nanoparticles to deliver cancer vaccines and HIV vaccines. Translation of this approach to HIV is being done in collaboration with colleagues at the Ragon Institute of MIT, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital. The institute, which funded this study along with the Gates Foundation, Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health, was established in 2009 with the goal of developing an HIV vaccine.


'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline McCall
cmccall5@mit.edu
617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Tissue engineers create a new way to assemble artificial tissues
2. Engineers turn noise into vision
3. Nanoscale stealth probe slides into cell walls seamlessly, say Stanford engineers
4. Artists, Product Designers, Printing Gurus, Game Developers, Manufacturing Engineers Will Converge at RAPID 2010/3D IMAGING Conference/Expo, May 18-20 in LA
5. Quest for designer bacteria uncovers a Spy
6. Biodesign hosts international consortium on screening for lung cancer
7. Next-generation hospital design can improve health -- and save money
8. Indoor plant intervention: New answers for health care design?
9. Structure of key molecule in immune system provides clues for designing drugs
10. Better Helmet Design Might Lower Soldiers Risk for Brain Injury
11. UM researchers are studying child-mother interactions to design robots with social skills
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Since launching its annual volunteer campaign on ... footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first two weeks ... during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares initiative is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Our bodies are bombarded daily by ... and deal with these stressors is to adopt a more healthful diet, but too ... Risa Groux, a certified Holistic Nutritionist and the creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... advocating optimistic healthcare awareness and author of best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") ... Radio Monday, May 2, 2016 and podcasted thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Fort Stewart, GA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... on Monday, May 16, 2016, at its new location in the Exchange Furniture Mall ... including a raffle for a 50-inch Samsung Smart TV. Plus attendees will have the ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... team BioCellection won the $30,000 Perlman Grand Prize of the 2016 Wharton Business ... Award, the Michelson People’s Choice Award, and the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... Schweiz, April 27, 2016 ... CEO Forums in Zürich gab Strekin AG ... Wirkstoffkandidaten STR001 zur Erhaltung des Resthörvermögens von ... bekannt. Für die umfassende Phase-II-Doppelblindstudie mit Placebo-Kontrollgruppe ... angeworben. STR001 wird während der Operation direkt ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016   Zillion ... its digital health technology platform, which specializes in ... programs into scalable digital products, Zillion enables companies ... and empower consumers to take control of their ... live video conferencing – including one-to-one, group and ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 Oasmia Pharmaceutical AB ... a new generation of drugs within human and ... for Paclical/Apealea in the Phase III study that ... ovarian cancer. These preliminary results showed non-inferiority between ... carboplatin versus Taxol in combination with carboplatin. In ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: