A Single Injection with Sustained-Release Microspheres and a Prime-Boost Injection of Bovine Serum Albumin Elicit the Same IgG Antibody Response in Mice

Renée S van der Kooij, Martin Beukema, Anke L W Huckriede, Johan Zuidema, Rob Steendam, Henderik W Frijlink, Wouter L J Hinrichs

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Although vaccination is still considered to be the cornerstone of public health care, the increase in vaccination coverage has stagnated for many diseases. Most of these vaccines require two or three doses to be administered across several months or years. Single-injection vaccine formulations are an effective method to overcome the logistical barrier to immunization that is posed by these multiple-injection schedules. Here, we developed subcutaneously (s.c.) injectable microspheres with a sustained release of the model antigen bovine serum albumin (BSA). The microspheres were composed of blends of two novel biodegradable multi-block copolymers consisting of amorphous, hydrophilic poly(ε-caprolactone)-poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL-PEG-PCL) blocks and semi-crystalline poly(dioxanone) (PDO) blocks of different block sizes. In vitro studies demonstrated that the release of BSA could be tailored over a period of approximately four to nine weeks by changing the blend ratio of both polymers. Moreover, it was found that BSA remained structurally intact during release. Microspheres exhibiting sustained release of BSA for six weeks were selected for the in vivo study in mice. The induced BSA-specific IgG antibody titers increased up to four weeks after administration and were of the same magnitude as found in mice that received a priming and a booster dose of BSA in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Determination of the BSA concentration in plasma showed that in vivo release probably took place up to at least four weeks, although plasma concentrations peaked already one week after administration. The sustained-release microspheres might be a viable alternative to the conventional prime-boost immunization schedule, but a clinically relevant antigen should be incorporated to assess the full potential of these microspheres in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number676
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16-Feb-2023

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