New research is striving to develop a next generation vaccine delivery platform, capable of providing immunogenic responses in a single dose using novel biomaterials.

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology researcher Dr Chun-Xia Zhao has received a University of Queensland Collaboration and Industry Engagement Fund grant to study the use of a nano-adjuvant to make slow-release vaccines.

Dr Zhao will partner with Adelaide-based biotechnology company Vaxine Pty Ltd, and use the company’s inulin adjuvant together with antigen, loaded onto a hydrogel particle platform.

“We recently developed a novel nano-inulin adjuvant in collaboration with Vaxine, and we want to combine it with antigen-loaded hydrogel particles, which we see as an ideal platform to engineer slow release vaccines,” Dr Zhao said.

“Currently many vaccines require multiple doses, which can be problematic, especially for people in developing countries,” she said.

“The platform we are developing would allow for controlled release of antigens and adjuvants which could lead to the development of single dose vaccines.”

The research team within the Middelberg Group at AIBN has an existing collaboration with Vaxine Pty Ltd, partnering together on an ARC Linkage Project grant to develop nanoparticle-based inulin adjuvants, has been investigating the advantage of a single dose approach over the need to administer multiple doses.

“Removing the need for multiple doses eliminates the chance of someone forgetting subsequent doses, and it also reduces the burden on hospitals and clinics by only needing to see a patient once,” she said.

“Additionally, in developing countries with scarcely available healthcare options, it eliminates the need for people to travel long distances for subsequent booster shots.”

Visit the AIBN website for more information on how AIBN is working to help society by improving vaccinology using the latest technology.

Media: Darius Koreis, d.koreis@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3962, +61 427 148 187; Dr Chun-Xia Zhao, z.chunxia@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 4263.

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