Silica adjuvant promotes both Th1 and Th2 immune responses of antigens. MHC II: major histocompatibility complex II; IL-4: Interleukin 4; IFN-: Interferon γ
Silica adjuvant promotes both Th1 and Th2 immune responses of antigens. MHC II: major histocompatibility complex II; IL-4: Interleukin 4; IFN-: Interferon γ

Project keywords

Nanomaterials, Nanotechnology, Antigen delivery, Vaccine adjuvants, Immune responses

Project summary

Vaccination is essential for effective control of infectious diseases. Subunit vaccines consist of isolated recombinant antigens and adjuvants that boost antigen immunity, having an improved safety profile over traditional vaccines. This project aims to develop effective immune adjuvants with low toxicity that promote both cellular (Th1) and humoral (Th2) immune responses of antigens and to generate robust long term immunity. Nanomaterials are engineered with desired structures to act as adjuvants and delivery vehicles for antigens with the following functions, 1) prompting the "depot" effect and increasing the availability of antigens to antigen presenting cells (APCs); 2) generating danger signals (e.g. reactive oxygen species, ROS) or co-delivering other immunostimulatory compounds (e.g. glucans) to activate NLRP3 inflammasome and trigger the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines (Mechanism 1 in Scheme); and 3) enhancing cellular uptake by APCs via endocytosis pathway to promote strong Th1 immune response (Mechanism 2). Nano-vaccines are expected to improve healthcare quality for both human beings and livestock.

Project contacts

Lead investigator Professor Chengzhong Yu
Research group Yu Group
Contact email c.yu@uq.edu.au

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