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PLA/PLGA nanoparticles are well known as efficient vaccine delivery systems, but they have got limitation in oral vaccine delivery because of their sensitivity to harsh gastric environment. The aim of present study was to improve the stability of PLA nanoparticles in such environment by copolymerizing PLA with PEG. Nanoparticles were formulated using different block copolymers AB, ABA and BAB (where 'A' is PLA and 'B' is PEG) encapsulating hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) to evaluate their efficacy as oral vaccine delivery system. The results of in vitro studies engrave the efficiency of copolymeric nanoparticles to retain encapsulated antigen and average particle size even after 2 h incubation in simulated gastric fluid and simulated intestinal fluid. Fluorescence microscopic studies indicated efficient uptake of copolymeric nanoparticles by gut mucosa of immunized mice model as compared to control. Finally copolymeric and PLA nanoparticles, encapsulating HBsAg, were evaluated for their adjuvancity in generating immune response after oral administration. PLA nanoparticles could not generate an effective immune response due to stability issues. On the other hand, oral administration of copolymeric nanoparticles exhibited effective levels of humoral immunity along with the mucosal (sIgA) and cellular immune response (T(H)1). The results of in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that BAB nanoparticles depict enhanced mucosal uptake leading to effective immune response as compared to other copolymeric nanoparticles. Present study indicates the efficacy of BAB nanoparticles as a promising carrier for oral immunization.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Pharm

Publication Date





253 - 262


Administration, Oral, Animals, Drug Stability, Female, Gastric Juice, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens, Hepatitis B Vaccines, Intestinal Mucosa, Intestinal Secretions, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Nanoparticles, Particle Size, Polyesters, Polyethylene Glycols