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ACS Nano. 2012 Sep 25;6(9):8041-51. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Releasable layer-by-layer assembly of stabilized lipid nanocapsules on microneedles for enhanced transcutaneous vaccine delivery.

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Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, United States.


Here we introduce a new approach for transcutaneous drug delivery, using microneedles coated with stabilized lipid nanocapsules, for delivery of a model vaccine formulation. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) microneedle arrays were coated with multilayer films via layer-by-layer assembly of a biodegradable cationic poly(β-amino ester) (PBAE) and negatively charged interbilayer-cross-linked multilamellar lipid vesicles (ICMVs). To test the potential of these nanocapsule-coated microneedles for vaccine delivery, we loaded ICMVs with a protein antigen and the molecular adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A. Following application of microneedle arrays to the skin of mice for 5 min, (PBAE/ICMV) films were rapidly transferred from microneedle surfaces into the cutaneous tissue and remained in the skin following removal of the microneedle arrays. Multilayer films implanted in the skin dispersed ICMV cargos in the treated tissue over the course of 24 h in vivo, allowing for uptake of the lipid nanocapsules by antigen presenting cells in the local tissue and triggering their activation in situ. Microneedle-mediated transcutaneous vaccination with ICMV-carrying multilayers promoted robust antigen-specific humoral immune responses with a balanced generation of multiple IgG isotypes, whereas bolus delivery of soluble or vesicle-loaded antigen via intradermal injection or transcutaneous vaccination with microneedles encapsulating soluble protein elicited weak, IgG(1)-biased humoral immune responses. These results highlight the potential of lipid nanocapsules delivered by microneedles as a promising platform for noninvasive vaccine delivery applications.

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