"Rational Vaccinology": a new way of vaccine design and manufacturing


Is there a common method that can significantly improve the efficacy of all vaccines? Researchers at the International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN) of Northwestern University are making efforts to this end. They found that using chemistry and nanotechnology to change the structural position of the adjuvant and antigen in the nanoscale vaccine can greatly improve the performance of the vaccine. Chad Mirkin, director and chief researcher of IIN Institute, said: "In addition to composition, structure is also the key factor determining the efficacy of vaccines. The position and way of placing antigens and adjuvants in a single structure has significantly changed the way the immune system recognizes and processes it." This high attention to structure may improve the effectiveness of traditional cancer vaccines, which have not been effective in history. So far, Milkin's team has studied the impact of vaccine structure on seven different types of cancer, including triple negative breast cancer, cervical cancer induced by papillomavirus, melanoma, colon cancer and prostate cancer, to determine the most effective structure for treating each type of cancer. "Mixer", the old method of conventional vaccines, most conventional vaccines are injected into patients after mixing antigens and adjuvants. Because there is no control over the structure of the vaccine, the control over the transportation and processing of the vaccine components is also limited, so it is difficult to grasp the effect of the vaccine. A challenge of traditional vaccines is that in the mixture, an immune cell may absorb 50 antigens and one adjuvant, or one antigen and 50 adjuvants. However, the best proportion of each vaccine must be reached to maximize the effectiveness of the vaccine. In view of this, Mirkin invented a spherical nucleic acid (SNA) structure platform for the use of new modular vaccines. SNA enables scientists to accurately identify how many antigens and adjuvants are delivered to cells, and also adjust the presentation and processing speed of these vaccine components. This structural consideration, which has a great impact on vaccine effectiveness, has been largely ignored in traditional methods. In your body, every soldier has a method to systematically control the position of antigen and adjuvant in the modular vaccine structure, which is named "reasonable vaccinology" by Milkin. It is based on the concept that the structural presentation of vaccine components is as important as the components that drive efficacy. Milkin said: "The vaccine developed through reasonable vaccinelogy provides each immune cell with a precise dose of antigen and adjuvant, and they are equally ready to attack cancer cells. If your immune cell is a soldier, some soldiers in the traditional vaccine are still unarmed; and our vaccine provides them with a powerful weapon, When the antigen position of two vaccines that are almost the same from the perspective of composition is changed, their therapeutic effect on tumor will change significantly: one vaccine is effective and useful, while the other vaccine is much less effective. It depends on their position in the SNA structure. The data shows that attaching two different antigens to the SNA containing the adjuvant shell is the "best location", which is the most effective structure of cancer vaccine. Compared with connecting the same two antigens to two separate SNA structures, it results in an increase of 30% in the activation of antigen-specific T cells and proliferation of T cells

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