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Protein-Based Nanosystems: Virus-Like-Particles in Modern Vaccine Development

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Protein-based nanosystems ranging from 8 to 50 nm in size offer novel immunotherapeutic opportunities in the treatment of cancer and chronic infectious diseases. Consisting of viral major coat or core proteins derived from viruses such as papillomavirus, polyomavirus, parvovirus, or hepatitis B virus, recombinant virus-like-particles spontaneously assemble into highly ordered, supramolecular structures. Employing genetic engineering or biochemical cross-linking, these nanostructures successfully serve as carrier matrix for the delivery of epitopes, protein fragments or complete proteins, with the added value of a strong inherent adjuvant activity. Therapeutic intervention against cancer relies on the breaking of T and B cell tolerance, which represents one of the key features of virus-like-particles serving as antigen delivery system. An ever increasing identification of validated target antigens from pathogens and tumors is paralleled by significant progress in bioprocess development. Virus-like-particles are ideal vehicles for the development of novel treatment concepts against many malignant and infectious diseases.


Document Type: Review Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jbn.2006.035

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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