Polymer-protein Core-shell Particles as Effective Vaccine Delivery Vehicles


Reference #: 01168

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a method to formulate protein-based antigens, especially glycoproteins-based antigens that enhance in vivo immune responses.

Invention Description:

The subject invention describes a novel vaccine delivery system using a self-assembled nanoparticle system. Protein-based antigens self assemble with proprietary, biocompatible polymers to form core-shell nanoparticles. Such nanoassemblies can induce much stronger immune responses as observed from in vivo studies.

Potential Applications:

  • Vaccine development or other biomedical/biochemistry oriented research

Advantages and Benefits:

This technology uses a facile method to prepare polymer-protein core-shell nanoparticles (PPCS-NPs) through the self-assembly of functional proteins and our proprietary polymers. The resulting assemblies have well-controlled core-shell structures with high-density protein components. Additionally, PPCS-NPs preserve protein activities and conformations. Furthermore, they dramatically enhance the immune-responses of the protein-based antigens, likely due to the higher contact superficial area and higher epitope density platform, both of which are key attributes for generating robust IgG responses.


The immune system could be provoked by a variety of natural antigens. It is found that some biological particulate structures have the excellent effect on regulating and controlling the immune responses against the antigens presented on them, which then promotes the process of protective immunity. To enhance the immune-responses of a specific antigen, the size, repetitive structure, epitope density and multivalency are the important factors and all play significant roles.

Currently, the most used carriers for antigens include: (1) alumina particles; (2) virus-like particles; (3) KLH proteins. However, they are not very applicable or active for many protein-based antigens, especially those that are glycoprotein-based.


As a proof-of-concept study, antigens from Dengue virus has been presented on the surface of the PPCS-NPs, which should significant higher in vivo immune-response than the control antigens.



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Qian Wang
Andrew Lee
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