Novel Cationic Pentablock Copolymers as a Nanovaccine Delivery Platform

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Adams, Justin
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Surya Mallapragada
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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The main objective of this project is the development of a safe and effective vaccine against respiratory pathogens including the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1. Amphiphilic pentablock copolymers based on Pluronic F127 and poly(2-diethylaminoethyl methacrylate (PDEAEM) have several characteristics that make them promising candidates as injectable vaccine carriers and adjuvants. Individual block copolymer molecules self-assemble into micelles in aqueous solutions. These micelles can be used to encapsulate protein for vaccine delivery. As the concentration of the block copolymer increases, the micelles form a temperature dependent gel and the length of the PDEAEM blocks control the dissolution rate of the gels. An injectable formulation can be designed to gel at physiological temperatures and form an antigenic depot. In addition, these biocompatible pentablock copolymers are based on pluronic, which is FDA approved as an injectable material. In order to design an efficacious next-generation vaccine against HPAI H5N1 several specific research goals were laid out including: (1) Design, synthesis, and optimization of the pentablock copolymer vaccine platform; (2) Evaluation of vaccine efficacy in vitro and in vivo; and (3) Immunization of mice with the pentablock copolymer vaccine to asses an immune response. Our block copolymer injectable delivery platform demonstrates the ability to sustain the release of antigen with minimal effects on protein stability or antigenicity and persist at the injection site. We have also successfully modified the polymers through an azide-alkyne click reaction to include mannose moieties that act as ligands for pattern recognition receptors on antigen presenting cells. These data coupled with the strong immune response demonstrate the potential for block copolymers for use simultaneously for injectable delivery and as a vaccine adjuvant platform.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014