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Engineering Powerful Vaccines with Lipid Nanotechnology

Apr 21,2024

Vaccines mark one of the most significant milestones in public health, having prevented morbidity and mortality for millions yearly. Traditionally, vaccine technology has focussed on live attenuated or inactivated, but nanotechnology has revolutionised the development in this field.

In this, lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technology has emerged as highly promising. Progress in medical science has facilitated the seamless integration of lipid nanotechnology into standard therapy, including developing several vaccines, which have yielded notable outcomes.

The recent COVID-19 vaccines based on mRNA-contained LNPs have propelled this ground-breaking technology from being seen as speculative research to transformative in genetic medicines and vaccines.

The inception of lipid nanotechnology dates back to 1965, when liposomes were first discovered. These closed lipid bilayer vesicles self-assemble in water, forming fatty capsules.

Their potential for drug delivery was immediately recognised due to their ability to encapsulate small-molecule drugs and enhance their aqueous solubilities—a critical advantage since over 40% of these agents have low solubility in water.

From this initial discovery, the technology has evolved, with continuous tweaks and refinements optimising the functionality of lipid nanoparticles, leading to the creation of highly versatile drug delivery platforms and liposomal drugs.

In general, nanomedicine involves applying nanoparticles and the utilisation of lipids from natural or synthetic sources in disease diagnosis, monitoring, control, and treatment. A significant advantage of this technology is the ability to customise lipid-based nanoparticles to surpass the constraints imposed by the human body’s natural biological barriers, systemic or cellular.

Introducing vaccines that utilise lipid nanotechnology has created a remarkably effective and innovative vaccine platform. LNPs are currently considered the most sophisticated non-viral gene delivery system in clinical use.

They are a secure and highly efficient method of transporting nucleic acids, successfully overcoming a significant challenge in developing and applying genetic medicines and vaccines.

Source: Healthworld

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