N-Trimethyl chitosan (TMC) nanoparticles loaded with influenza subunit antigen for intranasal vaccination: Biological properties and immunogenicity in a mouse model

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Vaccine, Volume 25, Number 1, pp. 144-153 (2007)



DOI Name (links to online publication)



n-trimethyl chitosan (tmc) nanoparticles; nasal vaccine delivery; influenza subunit vaccine; nasal delivery-system; epithelial-cells caco-2; heat-labile enterotoxin; in-vivo; immune-response; drug-delivery; a virus; clearance characteristics; absorption e


In this study, the potential of N-trimethyl chitosan (TMC) nanoparticles as a carrier system for the nasal delivery of a monovalent influenza subunit vaccine was investigated. The antigen-loaded nanoparticles were prepared by mixing a solution containing TMC and monovalent influenza A subunit H3N2 with a tripolyphosphate (TPP) solution, at ambient temperature and pH 7.4 while stirring. The nanoparticles had an average size of about 800 nm with a narrow size distribution and a positive surface charge. The nanoparticles showed a loading efficiency of 78% and a loading capacity of 13% (w/w). It was shown that more than 75% of the protein remained associated with the TMC nanoparticles upon incubation of the particles in PBS for 3 h. The molecular weight and antigenicity of the entrapped hemagglutinin was maintained as shown by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting, respectively. Single i.n. or i.m. immunization with antigen-loaded TMC nanoparticles resulted in strong hemagglutination inhibition and total IgG responses. These responses were significantly higher than those achieved after i.m. administration of the subunit antigen, whereas the IgG1/IgG2a profile did not change substantially. The i.n. administered antigen-TMC nanoparticles induced higher immune responses compared to the other i.n. antigen formulations, and these responses were enhanced by i.n. booster vaccinations. Moreover, among the tested formulations only i.n. administered antigen-containing TMC nanoparticles induced significant IgA levels in nasal washes of all mice. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate that TMC nanoparticles are a potent new delivery system for i.n. administered influenza antigens. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.