Immunogenicity of meningococcal PorA formulations encapsulated in biodegradable microspheres

Publication Type:

Journal Article


European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 21, Number 2-3, pp. 131-141 (2004)



DOI Name (links to online publication)



neisseria meningitidis; vaccine; pora; liposomes; microspheres; neisseria-meningitidis; dextran microspheres; controlled-release; polymer microspheres; protein; liposomes; vaccines; phospholipids; antibodies; parameters


The purpose of our study was to investigate the possibility to microencapsulate liposomes and meningococcal outer membrane vesicles (OMV), both containing neisserial pore protein A (PorA), in biodegradable dextran- and mannan-based microspheres and to study the immunogenicity of the encapsulated PorA formulations. PorA-liposomes and OMV were encapsulated in dextran- or mannan-based microspheres by using an aqueous two-phase system consisting of a polyethylene glycol solution and a methacrylated dextran or mannan solution. The formulations were characterized for size distribution, PorA structure and antigen recovery after release. Calcein-containing model liposomes were used to establish the encapsulation efficiency and release profiles from both types of microspheres. The immunogenicity of the PorA-containing formulations was determined in mice after subcutaneous immunization. Liposomes were encapsulated in dextran and mannan microspheres with a high efficiency (70-90%). Calcein liposomes, after a 5-day lag period, exhibited apparent zero-order release kinetics from both types of microspheres between Days 5 and 10 of incubation in vitro. The total release was 80 and 100% from mannan and dextran microspheres, respectively. The trimeric PorA conformation was preserved in the released liposomes and OMV and the antigen was partly recovered. The immunogenicity of PorA-liposomes and OMV encapsulated in dextran or mannan microspheres was preserved. In conclusion, PorA-liposomes and OMV could be encapsulated in dextran- and mannan-based microspheres with high efficiency. The immunogenicity of encapsulated antigen was preserved. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.