Most candidate vaccines represent “minimalist” compositions [3],

Most candidate vaccines represent “minimalist” compositions [3], which typically exhibit lower immunogenicity. Adjuvants and novel delivery systems that boost immunogenicity Rho kinase activity are increasingly needed as we move toward the era of modern vaccines. Nanotechnology offers the opportunity to design nanoparticles varying in composition, size, shape, and surface properties, for application in the field of medicine [4] and [5]. Nanoparticles, because

of their size similarity to cellular components, can enter living cells using the cellular endocytosis mechanism, in particular pinocytosis [6]. These cutting-edge innovations underpinned a market worth US $6.8 billion in 2006 [7] and predicted to reach US $160 billion by 2015 [8]. Indeed, nanoparticles

are revolutionizing the diagnosis of diseases as well as the delivery of biologically-active compounds for disease prevention and treatment. The emergence of virus-like particles (VLPs) and the resurgence of nanoparticles, such as quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles, marks a convergence of protein biotechnology with inorganic nanotechnology that promises an era of significant progress for nanomedicine [9] and [10]. A number of approved nano-sized vaccine Selleckchem Rigosertib and drug delivery systems highlight the revolution in disease prevention and treatment that is occurring [4], [11], [12] and [13]. The use of nanotechnology in vaccinology, in particular, has been increasing exponentially in the past decade (Fig. 1), leading to the birth of “nanovaccinology” [3]. In both prophylactic and therapeutic approaches, nanoparticles are used as either a delivery system to enhance antigen processing and/or as an immunostimulant adjuvant to activate or enhance immunity. Therapeutic nanovaccinology is mostly applied for cancer treatment

[14], [15] and [16], and is increasingly explored to treat other diseases or conditions, such as Alzheimer’s [17], hypertension [9], and nicotine addiction [11]. Prophylactic nanovaccinology, on the other hand, has been applied for the prevention of different diseases. A number of prophylactic nanovaccines have been approved for human use and more are in clinical or pre-clinical next trials [13], [18], [19] and [20]. In this review, we provide an overview of recent advances in the broad area of nanovaccinology, but limit our review only to prophylactic vaccines. We first survey advances in the types of nanoparticles, which are defined as any particulate material with size 1–1000 nm [21], used for prophylactic vaccine design (Fig. 2). We then discuss the interaction of nanoparticles with the antigen of interest, differentiating the role of the nanoparticle as either delivery system and/or immunostimulant adjuvant. The interaction of nanoparticles with immune cells and the biosystem are also discussed to provide understanding of antigen and nanoparticle processing in vivo, as well as clearance.

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