Functionalized Multifunctional Nanovaccine for Targeting Dendritic Cells and Modulation of Immune Response

Nesma El-Sayed, Evgeniia Korotchenko, Sandra Scheiblhofer, Richard Weiss, Marc Schneider*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multifunctional gelatin nanoparticles modified by NIR-emitting gold/silver alloy nanoclusters and loaded with ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen were developed. Two different designs of nanoparticles were introduced; positively charged NPs with OVA displayed over the surface (S-NPs) versus OVA encapsulated in the NPs' matrix and the surface is functionalized by dextran (Dex-NPs) for dendritic cell targeting. The nanoparticles showed average particle sizes of 210 and 305 nm and zeta potentials of +25.6 and -23.9 mV, for S-NPs and Dex-NPs, respectively. Both types of NPs succeeded to induce maturation of murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) as indicated by the upregulated surface expression of MHC-II and co-stimulatory molecules CD86, CD80 and CD40. Dex-NPs induced no cytotoxicity in BMDCs, in contrast to S-NPs. Functionalization of NPs with dextran increased their uptake by BMDCs, enhanced secretion of immune stimulatory chemokines, and boosted their T cell stimulation capacity. Co-culture of NP loaded BMDCs with OVA-specific CD4 or CD8 T cells, induced enhanced T cell proliferation and release of IL-2 from both CD8 and CD4 cells and IFN-γ from CD8 T cells. This highlights the potential of the developed NPs as vaccines for inducing T helper 1 type CD4 as well as CD8 responses, such as vaccines for cancer or viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120123
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number593
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Antiviral vaccination
  • C-type lectin receptors
  • Gelatin nanoparticles
  • Gold nanoclusters
  • Tumor vaccine

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 106 Biology

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