Nucleic acids presenting polymer nanomaterials as vaccine adjuvants
Most vaccines developed today include only the antigens that best stimulate the immune system rather than the entire virus or microbe, which makes vaccine production and use safer and easier, though they lack potency to induce acceptable immunity and long-term protection. The incorporation of additional immune stimulating components, named adjuvants, is required to generate a strong protective immune response. Nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and their synthetic analogs are promising candidates as vaccine adjuvants activating Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Additionally, in the last few years several nanocarriers have emerged as platforms for targeted co-delivery of antigens and adjuvants. In this review, we focus on the recent developments in polymer nanomaterials presenting nucleic acids as vaccine adjuvants. We aim to compare the effectiveness of the various classes of polymers in immune modulating materials (nanoparticles, dendrimers, single-chain particles, nanogels, polymersomes and DNA-based architectures). In particular, we address the critical role of parameters such as size, shape, complexation and release of TLR ligands, cellular uptake, stability, toxicity and potential importance of spatial control in ligand presentation.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Review Articles and Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigators