Biodegradable Nanoparticles as Vaccine Adjuvants and Delivery Systems: Regulation of Immune Responses by Nanoparticle-Based Vaccine

  • Takami Akagi
  • Masanori Baba
  • Mitsuru AkashiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Polymer Science book series (POLYMER, volume 247)


Polymeric nano- and microparticles have recently been shown to possess significant potential as drug delivery systems. In particular, the use of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles with entrapped antigens such as proteins, peptides, or DNA represents an exciting approach for controlling the release of vaccine antigens and optimizing the desired immune response via selective targeting of the antigen to antigen-presenting cells (APCs). The efficient delivery of antigens to APCs, especially in dendritic cells (DCs), and the activation of APCs are some of the most important issues in the development of effective vaccines. Using nanoparticle-based vaccine delivery systems, it is possible to target delivery to DCs, activate these APCs, and control release of the antigen. Nanoparticles prepared from biodegradable and biocompatible polymers such as poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), poly(amino acid)s, and polysaccharides have been shown to be effective vaccine carriers for a number of antigens. This review mainly focuses on amphiphilic poly(amino acid) and PLGA nanoparticles as vaccine delivery systems and summarizes the investigations of our research group and others on the properties of these antigen-loaded naoparticles.

Graphical Abstract


Adjuvant Biodegradable nanoparticles Poly(γ-glutamic acid) Protein delivery Vaccine 



Antigen-presenting cells


Bovine serum albumin


Complete Freund’s adjuvant


Confocal laser scanning microscopy




Cytotoxic T lymphocyte


N,N-Dicyclohexyl carbodiimide


Dendritic cells


Drug delivery system


Dynamic light scattering


Flow cytometry


Hepatitis B core antigen


Human immunodeficiency virus




Human T-cell leukemia virus type-I




Major histocompatibility complex


Monophospholipid A






OVA encapsulating within γ-PGA-Phe nanoparticles




Plasmid DNA




Poly(glycolic acid)






Polyion complex


Poly(lactic acid)




Small angle X-ray scattering


Scanning electron microscopy


Transmission electron microscopy


T helper


Toll-like receptor






Poly(γ-glutamic acid)


γ-PGA-graft-Phe copolymer




ε-PL-graft-cholesterol hydrogen succinate


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takami Akagi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masanori Baba
    • 3
    • 2
  • Mitsuru Akashi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversitySuita, OsakaJapan
  2. 2.Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST)KawaguchiJapan
  3. 3.Division of Antiviral Chemotherapy, Center for Chronic Viral Diseases, Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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