Hybrid Delivery Platforms for Vaccine Development

The research aim is to design and develop innovative adjuvant formulation combing different in nature nanobiomaterials i.e., lipids and polymers for the fast clinical translation of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology gave the opportunity for fast clinical translation of mRNA vaccines for the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Nanosystems i.e., liposomes, micelles etc. can be used as delivery vehicles in various forms and morphologies for mRNA or DNA, and/or adjuvants in vaccines. The nanovaccines exhibit several advantages such as strong cellular immune responses, increased secretion of cytokines, co-loading and prolonged circulation of antigens and increased levels of antibodies and antigen-specific antibodies (i.e., IgA, IgG etc.). The key idea of this project is to formulate lipid/polymer nanostructures composed of different lipids and polymers as vaccines platform for the (co-) delivery of mRNA and/or antigens.

The polymers that will be used are FDA approved such as poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] and Pluronics. Cationic and zwitterionic lipids, well-established for their characteristics, will be selected. In pre-formulation studies, we are going to study the cooperativity of the raw materials with the nucleic acid and the antigen. Toxicological studies will be performed to test the biocompatibility of the selected materials. In formulation studies, aqueous heat method accompanied with another size reduction technique will be used for the preparation of the hybrid nanoparticles. Several physicochemical techniques will be used for the characterization of the system. The loading capacity, the release profile and the effectiveness of the system will be investigated.

This innovative platform for a cost-effective vaccine formulation, that has all the necessary requisites for fast clinical translation because this innovative technology approach is promising for the preclinical trials. The main goal of this proposal is to combine different technologies to develop hybrid lipid/polymer adjuvant vaccine formulations for enhancing the immunoresponse by targeting to Antigen Presenting Cells.

Image courtesy of Natassa Pippa


Group Leader

Natassa Pippa, Lindau Alumna 2018
Section of Pharmaceutical Technology Department of Pharmacy
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Skills for Project