Novel bioadhesive formulations for mucosal and parenteral delivery of vaccines

  • Satyanarayana Somavarapu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In this work we have established the efficient mucosal delivery of vaccines using absorption enhancers and chitosan. In addition, the use of chitosan was shown to enhance the action of other known adjuvants, such as CTB or Quil-A. Collectively, the results presented herein indicate that chitosan has excellent potential as a mucosal adjuvant.
We have evaluated a number of absorption enhancers for their adjuvant activity in vivo. Polyornithine was shown to engender high scrum immune reasons to nasally delivered antigens, with higher molecular weight polyornithine facilitating the best results. We have demonstrated for the first time that vitamin E TPGS can act as mucosal adjuvant. Deoxycholic acid, cyclodextrins and acylcarnitines were also identified as effective mucosal adjuvants and showed enhanced immune responses to nasally delivered TT, DT and Yersinia pestis V and F1 antigens. Previously, none of these agents, common in their action as absorption enhancing agents, have been shown to have immunopotentiating activity for mucosal immunisation. We have successfully developed novel surface modified microspheres using chitosan as an emulsion stabiliser during the preparation of PLA microspheres. It was found that immune responses could be substantially increased, effectively exploiting the immunopenetrating characteristics of both chitosan and PLA microspheres in the same delivery vehicle. In the same study, comparison of intranasal and intramuscular routes of administration showed that with these formulations, the nasal route could be as effective as intramuscular delivery, highlighting the potential of mucosal administration for these particulate delivery systems.
Chitosan was co-administered with polymer microspheres. It was demonstrated that this strategy facilitates markedly enhanced immune responses in both magnitude and duration following intramuscular administration. We conclude that this combination shows potential for single dose administration of vaccines. In another study, we have shown that the addition of chitosan to alum adsorbed TT was able to enhance immune responses.
PLA micro/nanospheres were prepared and characterised with discreet particle size ranges. A smaller particle size was shown to facilitate higher scrum IgG responses following nasal administration. A lower antigen loading was additionally identified as being preferential for the induction of immune responses in combination with the smaller particle size. This may be due to the fact that the number of particles will be increased when antigen loading is low, which may in turn facilitate a more widespread uptake of particles.
PLA lamellar particles were prepared and characterised. Adsorbed TT was evaluated for the potential to engender immune responses in vivo. These formulations were shown to generate effective immune responses following intramuscular administration.
Positively charged polyethylcyanoacrylate and PLA nanoparticies were designed and characterised and their potential as delivery vehicles for DNA vaccines was investigated. Successful preparation of particles with narrow size distribution and positive surface charge (imparted by the inclusion of chitosan) was achieved. In the evaluation of antibody responses to DNA encoded antigen in the presence of alum administered intranasally, discrimination between the groups was only seen following intramuscular boosting with the corresponding protein. Our study showed that DNA vaccines in the presence of either alum or Quil-A may advantageously influence priming of the immune system by a mucosal route. The
potential for the combination of adjuvants, Quil-A and chitosan, to enhance antibody responses to plasmid encoded antigen co-administered with the corresponding protein antigen was shown and this is worthy of further investigation.
The findings here have identified novel adjuvants and approaches to vaccine delivery. In particular, chitosan or vitamin E TPGS are shown here to have considerable promise as non-toxic, safe mucosal adjuvants. In addition, biodegradable mucoadhesive delivery systems, surface modified with chitosan in a single step process, may have application for other uses such as drug and gene delivery.

Date of AwardJul 2001
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorH.O. Alpar (Supervisor)


  • vaccine delivery
  • chitosan
  • adjuvant
  • nasal delivery
  • absorption enhancers
  • bile salts
  • microspheres
  • cyanoacrylate
  • DNA vaccine
  • vitamin E TPGS
  • mucosal adjuvant

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