Vaccination represents one of the most effective means of preventing infectious disease. In order to maximize the utility of vaccines, highly potent formulations that are easy to administer and promote high patient compliance are desired.
In the present work, a biomimetic self-propelling micromotor formulation is developed for use as an oral antivirulence vaccine. The propulsion is provided by a magnesium-based core, and a biomimetic cell membrane coating is used to detain and neutralize a toxic antigenic payload. The resulting motor toxoids leverage their propulsion properties in order to more effectively elicit mucosal immune responses.
After demonstrating the successful fabrication of the motor toxoids, their uptake properties are shown in vitro. When delivered to mice via an oral route, it is then confirmed that the propulsion greatly improves retention and uptake of the antigenic material in the small intestine in vivo. Ultimately, this translates into markedly elevated generation of antibody titers against a model toxin.
This work provides a proof-of-concept highlighting the benefits of active oral delivery for vaccine development, opening the door for a new set of applications, in which biomimetic motor technology can provide significant benefits.