Researchers Developed Oral Vaccines Powered by Micromotors

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

Researchers Developed Oral Vaccines Powered by Micromotors

Researchers developed oral vaccines powered by micromotors to fight bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

Although scientists are conducting studies to develop oral vaccines for infectious diseases, for it to be effective, it must survive digestion and reach immune cells within the intestinal wall. This study discusses about the newly developed oral vaccine that targets the mucus layer of the intestine.

Apart from avoiding needles, a broader immune response can be generated by oral vaccines. This can be done by stimulating immune cells within the mucus layer of the intestine to produce a special class of antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA). Researchers came with an idea of using magnesium particles as tiny motors to deliver an oral vaccine against the bacterial pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. When coated over most of their surfaces with titanium dioxide, water is used as fuel by magnesium microparticles for generating hydrogen bubbles that power their propulsion.

To develop the oral vaccine, the magnesium micromotors were coated with red blood cell membranes that displayed the Staphylococcal α-toxin. Moreover, a layer of chitosan was used to help them stick to the intestinal mucus. Then, an enteric coating, which protects drugs from the acidic conditions of the stomach was added. They tested this on mice and the micromotors were found safely passing through the stomach, and then the enteric coating dissolved, activating the motors. From the images of the mice that was given the vaccine, it was clearly visible that the micromotors accumulated in the intestinal wall much better when compared to non-motorized particles. The micromotors also stimulated the production of about ten times more IgA antibodies against the Staphylococcal α-toxin than the static particles.

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