(Closed) ImmuneNanoVac – Nanomaterials to design new vaccine adjuvants


Nanomaterials to design new vaccine adjuvants
Reference UTA-EXPL/NPN/0082/2019
Scientific Area Nanotechnologies
Funding (PT) 50 000,00 EUR
Funding (US) 49 998,00 USD
Leading Institutions Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (IMM/FM/ULisboa)
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Biomaterials, Drug Delivery and Regenerative Medicine Cockrell School of Engineering, UT Austin
Participating Institutions Faculty of Pharmacy Research and Development Association (FARM-ID)
Duration 12 months
Begin date October 1, 2020
End date September 30, 2021
Antibodies, T cells, B cells, Nanoparticles, Immune regulation

Although vaccines are among therapies with the greatest impact on health, there is still a need to improve vaccine efficacy among groups with decaying immune function. By advancing the knowledge on reprogramming host immune responses by nanoparticulate systems, the ImmuneNanoVac project will lead to the identification of optimal nanomaterials to improve vaccine efficacy in vulnerable groups.

The protection afforded by vaccination (namely against influenza) is important but still sub-optimal. The exploitation of the results achieved with the development of nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy, as well as the expertise in germinal center biology will boost vaccine responses through the use of nanoparticles to deliver adjuvants and immunizing antigens.

The ImmuneNanoVac project has the potential to increase vaccine efficacy among individuals that are more susceptible to severe consequences of infection, such as influenza or COVID-19.

Key Outcomes

  • Optimal nanomaterials to improve vaccine efficacy in vulnerable groups;
  • Research publications;
  • Preliminary results to support further grant applications and intellectual property.

Papers and Communications

  • T-Follicular Helper Cells. (2022). In L. Graca (Ed.), Methods in Molecular Biology. Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1736-6
  • Ribeiro, F., Perucha, E., & Graca, L. (2022). T follicular cells: The regulators of germinal center homeostasis. In Immunology Letters (Vol. 244, pp. 1–11). Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imlet.2022.02.008
  • Basto, A. P., & Graca, L. (2021). Regulation of antibody responses against self and foreign antigens by Tfr cells: implications for vaccine development. Oxford Open Immunology, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfimm/iqab012
  • Pedroso, R., Ribeiro, F., Pires, A. R., Graca, L., & Fonseca, V. R. (2021). Identification of Human T Follicular Cells in Ectopic Lymphoid Structures. In Methods in Molecular Biology (pp. 225–233). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1736-6_19
  • Ribeiro, F., Ávila-Ribeiro, P., Fonseca, J. E., & Graca, L. (2021). Identification of Human Blood and Tissue T Follicular Regulatory (Tfr) Cells by Flow Cytometry. In Methods in Molecular Biology (pp. 41–46). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-0716-1736-6_4
  • Basto, A. P., & Graca, L. (2021). Regulation of antibody responses against self and foreign antigens by Tfr cells: implications for vaccine development. In Oxford Open Immunology (Vol. 2, Issue 1). Oxford University Press (OUP). https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfimm/iqab012
  • Ward, D. M., Shodeinde, A. B., & Peppas, N. A. (2021). Innovations in Biomaterial Design toward Successful RNA Interference Therapy for Cancer Treatment. Advanced Healthcare Materials, 2100350. https://doi.org/10.1002/adhm.202100350
  • Clegg, J. R., Sun, J. A., Gu, J., Venkataraman, A. K., & Peppas, N. A. (2021). Peptide conjugation enhances the cellular co-localization, but not endosomal escape, of modular poly(acrylamide-co-methacrylic acid) nanogels. Journal of Controlled Release, 329, 1162–1171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.10.045
  • Teixeira, S. P. B., Domingues, R. M. A., Babo, P. S., Berdecka, D., Miranda, M. S., Gomes, M. E., Peppas, N. A., & Reis, R. L. (2020). Epitope‐Imprinted Nanoparticles as Transforming Growth Factor‐β3 Sequestering Ligands to Modulate Stem Cell Fate. Advanced Functional Materials, 31(4), 2003934. https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.202003934


2021 Annual Conference

Project Team

Luís Graça

Principal Investigator in Portugal (IMM/FM/ULisboa)

Nicholas A. Peppas

Principal Investigator in Austin (UT Austin)