Pathogen Mimicry: A Viable Design Strategy for Prevention and Treatment of Respiratory Infectious Diseases

Monday, April 11, 2011 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Gold Room, Hilton Garden Inn, 1325 Dickenson Avenue, Ames

Balaji Narasimhan , Vlasta Klima Balloun Professor and Associate Dean of Research Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

ABSTRACT: The design of vaccines and therapeutics to address respiratory infectious diseases is fraught with challenges ranging from the need for cold storage to poor immunogenicity to the need for multiple doses to the need for needle-based methods that require medical professionals to administer. In this talk, we describe the molecular design of a safe, non-toxic, and efficacious nanoparticle-based platform that can address these challenges and provide a robust technology to address both pre- and post-exposure to respiratory pathogens. We have shown using a bottom-up approach that vaccine adjuvants based on amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles are capable of mimicking a natural infection and inducing an immune response that provides long-lived protection against a lethal challenge. Additionally, these particles can be used to effectively deliver antibiotics intracellularly in a single administration, which has important implications for patient compliance, dose sparing, and cost savings. This rational approach for designing novel amphiphilic materials as nanoscale adjuvants and therapeutics has the tantalizing potential to catalyze the development of next generation technologies against emerging and re-emerging diseases.