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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Chemistry Auditorium (TA-46), Building 535, Room 103


Pathogen Mimicking Nanovaccine and Nanotherapeutic Platform Technology: A New Paradigm

Balaji Narasimhan
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Iowa State University

The design of vaccines and therapeutics to address infectious and tropical diseases is fraught with challenges, including poor immunogenicity, drug toxicity, and the need for multiple doses, needle-based methods, and cold storage. We have developed a cross-disciplinary approach (see Figure) at the intersection of polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and immunology to enable the molecular design of a safe and efficacious nanovaccine and nanotherapeutic platform based on biodegradable amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles that can meet these challenges and address both pre- and post-exposure to pathogens. We have shown using a bottom-up approach that these nano-adjuvants can mimic a natural infection and induce robust immune responses with long-lived protection. The nanoparticles are safe when administered via multiple routes and can be designed to encapsulate fragile protein antigens and deliver them in a sustained manner to immune cells, facilitating the maintenance of antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. These particles can be used for effective intracellular delivery of diverse payloads in a single administration, which results in lower toxicity, faster killing, enhanced patient compliance, dose sparing, and cost savings. This technology has been applied to treat diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. A major advantage of the platform technology is its room temperature stability for extended periods of time. This will obviate the “cold chain”, which is a major hurdle in the global deployment of vaccines and therapeutics. This rational approach for designing novel nanoscale adjuvants and therapeutics has the tantalizing potential to catalyze the development of next generation technologies against emerging and re-emerging diseases.

Host: Harshini Mukundan, 606-2122