Co-delivery of antigens and immunostimulants: Via a polymersome for improvement of antigen-specific immune response

Jong Woo Lim, Woonsung Na, Hyun Ouk Kim, Minjoo Yeom, Aram Kang, Geunseon Park, Chaewon Park, Jisun Ki, Sojeong Lee, Bud Jung, Hyoung Hwa Jeong, Daewon Park, Daesub Song, Seungjoo Haam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Cellular uptake of antigens (Ags) by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is vital for effective functioning of the immune system. Intramuscular or subcutaneous administration of vaccine Ags alone is not sufficient to elicit optimal immune responses. Thus, adjuvants are required to induce strong immunogenicity. Here, we developed nanoparticulate adjuvants that assemble into a bilayer spherical polymersome (PSome) to promote the cellular uptake of Ags by APCs. PSomes were synthesized by using a biodegradable and biocompatible block copolymer methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(d,l-lactide) to encapsulate both hydrophilic and lipophilic biomacromolecules, such as ovalbumin (OVA) as a model Ag and monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) as an immunostimulant. After co-encapsulation of OVA and MPLA, the PSome synthetic vehicle exhibited the sustained release of OVA in cell environments and allowed efficient delivery of cargos into APCs. The administration of PSomes loaded with OVA and MPLA induced the production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha cytokines by macrophage activation in vitro and elicited effective Ag-specific antibody responses in vivo. These findings indicate that the nano-sized PSome may serve as a potent adjuvant for vaccine delivery systems to modulate enhanced immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5620-5626
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 14

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the National Research Foundation (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science & ICT (NRF-2018 M3A9H4056340). This research was supported by the Nano·Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (Grant number: 2017M3A7B4041798). This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI18C1159).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)


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