Characterization of rabies pDNA nanoparticulate vaccine in poloxamer 407 gel

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Plasmid DNA (pDNA) vaccines have the potential for protection against a wide range of diseases including rabies but are rapid in degradation and poor in uptake by antigen-presenting cells. To overcome the limitations, we fabricated a pDNA nanoparticulate vaccine. The negatively charged pDNA was adsorbed onto the surface of cationic PLGA (poly (d, l-lactide-co-glycolide))-chitosan nanoparticles and were used as a delivery vehicle. To create a hydrogel for sustainable vaccine release, we dispersed the pDNA nanoparticles in poloxamer 407 gel which is liquid at 4°C and turns into soft gels at 37°C, providing ease of administration and preventing burst release of pDNA. Complete immobilization of pDNA to cationic nanoparticles was achieved at a pDNA to nanoparticles ratio (P/N) of 1/50. Cellular uptake of nanoparticles was both time and concentration dependent and followed a saturation kinetics with Vmax of 11.389μg/mLh and Km of 139.48μg/mL. The in vitro release studies showed the nanoparticulate vaccine has a sustained release for up to 24days. In summary, pDNA PLGA-chitosan nanoparticles were non-cytotoxic, their buffering capacity and cell uptake were enhanced, and sustained the release of pDNA. We expect our pDNA vaccine’s potency will be greatly improved in the animal studies.

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