The fundamentals of this research were to exploit non-ionic surfactant technology for delivery and administration of vaccine antigens across the oral route and to gain a better understanding of vaccine trafficking. Using a newly developed method for manufacture of non-ionic surfactant vesicles (niosomes and bilosomes) lower process temperatures were adopted thus reducing antigen exposure to potentially damaging conditions. Vesicles prepared by this method offered high protection to enzymatic degradation, with only ∼10 % antigen loss measured when vesicles incorporating antigen were exposed to enzyme digestion. Interestingly, when formulated using this new production method, the addition of bile salt to the vesicles offered no advantage in terms of stability within simulated gastro-intestinal conditions. Considering their ability to deliver antigen to their target site, results demonstrated that incorporation of antigen within vesicles enhanced delivery and targeting of the antigen to the Peyer's Patch, again with niosomes and bilosomes offering similar efficiency. Delivery to both the Peyer's patches and mesentery lymphatics was shown to be dose dependent at lower concentrations, with saturation kinetics applying at higher concentrations. This demonstrates that in the formulation of vaccine delivery systems, the lipid/antigen dose ratio is not only a key factor in production cost, but is equally a key factor in the kinetics of delivery and targeting of a vaccine system.
- vaccine delivery