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J Control Release. 2005 May 5;104(1):1-27. Epub 2005 Mar 2.

Review of novel particulate antigen delivery systems with special focus on treatment of type I allergy.

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Institute of Pathophysiology, Center of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University of Vienna, AKH-EB03.Q, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.


For the treatment of infectious diseases, cancer and allergy, the directed induction of an appropriate immune response is the ultimate goal. Therefore, with the development of pure, often very small proteins, peptides or DNA by molecular biology techniques, the research for suitable adjuvants or delivery systems became increasingly important. Particle formulations are made of a variety of materials, including lipids, proteins or amino acids, polysaccharides, polyacrylic substances or organic acids. Microparticles serve as vehicles and provide a depot for the entrapped or coupled antigen. The release occurs in a pulsatile or continuous manner, a feature, which is well controllable for many particulate systems. Particles attract antigen presenting cells to the administration site, thereby guaranteeing the efficient presentation of the antigen to the immune system. Importantly, particles also protect the entrapped substance. This is especially necessary after oral application to avoid gastric or tryptic breakdown. In this article, the design and construction of different antigen delivery systems and their immune effects, with special focus on the suitability for allergy treatment, are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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