[한국대학신문 이원지 기자] The research team led by Professor Na-gun of the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at the Catholic University of Korea (President Jong-cheol Won) and Professor Choong-seong Lee of Sunmoon University succeeded in developing a nano-vaccine that controls the level of immune activation with light after inoculation into the nose.
The nanovaccine developed this time is expected to be applied not only to infection protection against influenza viruses, but also to research on treatments for various diseases such as coronavirus and anticancer vaccines.
In order to prevent influenza virus, which causes many casualties every year, various methods have been tried to directly inoculate the nasal cavity (nose), which is the main route of infection. However, the nasal inoculation vaccine had problems in safety because it was difficult to deliver antigens due to the mucosal layer in the nose that blocks foreign substances or because live viruses were used.
Prof. Nagan’s research team developed a vaccine in the form of a nanocomposite using a polymer in which an antigen protein and a photoresponder are conjugated. The nanovaccine developed this time is characterized by being able to stay in the nasal cavity for a long time by improving tissue permeability with light. In addition, it has the advantage of being safer because the degree of immune response can be controlled by the amount of time that the light is exposed according to the characteristics of the patient.
The nanovaccine developed by Professor Nagan’s research team has proven its effectiveness in protecting against influenza virus in animal experiments. After administration of the nanovaccine, the animal model exposed to light showed a 100% survival rate. As a result of the experiment, administration of the nanovaccine and exposure to light produced up to 8 times more immune cells than when only antigen protein was administered, and the amount of antigen-specific antibodies increased by 80%.
Professor Na, who is in charge of the research, said, “The nanovaccine developed this time is a vaccine delivery platform technology that can be applied to various diseases. For the actual commercialization of the vaccine, we plan to conduct follow-up studies such as safety evaluation and efficacy evaluation studies.”
This research was carried out with the support of the Basic Research Project (Medium Research) promoted by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Research Foundation of Korea. The research results were published in the international academic journal October 24. <어드밴스드 사이언스((Advanced Science, IF: 16.806)>was published in