Polymeric biodegradable lipospheres™ as vaccine delivery systems

Shimon Amselem, Carl R. Alving, Abraham J. Domb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study describes the preparation and use of polymeric lipospheresTM as a potential vehicle for the controlled‐release of vaccines. Lipospheres are a new encapsulation technology for parenteral drug delivery that have been also used successfully as carriers of vaccines. A recombinant malaria antigen, R32NS1, derived from the circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium falciparum, was incorporated in biodegradable polymeric lipospheres in the absence or presence of lipid A as an adjuvant. The immunogenicity of polymeric lipospheres composed of polylactide (PLD) or polycaprolactone (PCL) was tested in rabbits after intramuscular injection of the formulations. High levels of specific IgG antibodies were observed in the sera of the immunized rabbits up to 12 weeks after primary immunization, using a solid phase ELISA assay. PCL lipospheres containing the malaria antigen were able to induce sustained antibody activity after one single injection in the absence of immunomodulators. PCL lipospheres showed superior immunogenicity compared to PLD lipospheres, the difference being attributed to the different biodegradation rates of the polymers. Biodegradable polymeric lipospheres represent a pharmaceutically acceptable vaccine delivery system with immunopotentiating activity for humoral antibody responses. The high permeability to many therapeutic drugs, and a lack of toxicity, has made PCL and its derivatives well suited for controlled drug delivery. The results obtained in this study are very promising, with the expectation that the use of biodegradable polymeric lipospheres might be very useful in the conversion of multiple‐dose vaccines to single‐dose vaccination, avoiding the need for repeated immunizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalPolymers for Advanced Technologies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvants
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Delivery systems
  • Lipospheres
  • Vaccines


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