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Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Aug;35:73-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.06.007. Epub 2015 Jul 8.

Supramolecular peptide vaccines: tuning adaptive immunity.

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Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; Committee on Immunology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address:


Successful immunotherapies must be designed to elicit targeted immune responses having a specifiable phenotype across many dimensions, including the phenotypes of T cells, B cells, antigen-presenting cells, and others. For synthetic or subunit vaccines, stimulation of strong enough immune responses usually requires adjuvants, which can cause local inflammation and complicate the targeting of such phenotypes. Supramolecular materials provide routes for reducing or eliminating supplemental adjuvants. Owing to their compositional controllability, supramolecular assemblies show promise for fine-tuning immune responses by adjusting combinations of material attributes including epitope content, multivalency, size, dose, and small quantities of specific adjuvants. Here we focus on supramolecular vaccines incorporating multiple epitopes in precise ratios, with an emphasis on peptides that form high-aspect ratio (i.e. fibrillar) structures.

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