INTRODUCTION: Liposomes remain at the forefront of drug and vaccine design owing to their well-documented abilities to act as delivery vehicles. Nevertheless, the concept of liposomes as delivery vehicles is not a new one, with most works focusing on their use for the delivery of genes and drugs. However, in the last 10 years a significant amount of research has focused on using liposomes as vaccine adjuvants, not only as an antigen delivery vehicle but also as a tool to increase the immunogenicity of peptide and protein antigens.
AREAS COVERED: This paper reviews liposomal adjuvants now in vaccine development, with particular emphasis on their adjuvant mechanism and how specific physicochemical characteristics of liposomes affect the immune response. The inclusion of immunomodulators is also discussed, with prominence given to Toll-like receptor ligands.
EXPERT OPINION: The use of liposomes as vaccine delivery systems is evolving rapidly owing to the combined increase in technological advances and understanding of the immune system. Liposomes that contain and deliver immunostimulators and antigens are now being developed to target diseases that require stimulation of both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. The CAF liposomal system, described in detail in this review, is one liposomal model that shows such flexibility.
- pathogen recognition receptors