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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 6 doi: 10.1007/s11705-021-2123-1

Optimising the oil phases of aluminium hydrogel-stabilised emulsions for stable, safe and efficient vaccine adjuvant

Available online: 2022-01-14

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To increase antibody secretion and dose sparing, squalene-in-water aluminium hydrogel (alum)-stabilised emulsions (ASEs) have been developed, which offer increased surface areas and cellular interactions for higher antigen loading and enhanced immune responses. Nevertheless, the squalene (oil) in previous attempts suffered from limited oxidation resistance, thus, safety and stability were compromised. From a clinical translational perspective, it is imperative to screen the optimal oils for enhanced emulsion adjuvants. Here, because of the varying oleic to linoleic acid ratio, soybean oil, peanut oil, and olive oil were utilised as oil phases in the preparation of aluminium hydrogel-stabilised squalene-in-water emulsions, which were then screened for their stability and immunogenicity. Additionally, the underlying mechanisms of oil phases and emulsion stability were unravelled, which showed that a higher oleic to linoleic acid ratio increased anti-oxidative capabilities but reduced the long-term storage stability owing to the relatively low zeta potential of the prepared droplets. As a result, compared with squalene-in-water ASEs, soybean-in-water ASEs exhibited comparable immune responses and enhanced stability. By optimising the oil phase of the emulsion adjuvants, this work may offer an alternative strategy for safe, stable, and effective emulsion adjuvants.

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