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Spider silk for vaccines

05.06.2018 - New publication of Prof. Bourquin: Engineered hybrid spider silk particles as delivery system for peptide vaccines.

05.06.2018 -

Professor Carole Bourquin, from the University of Geneva, is a specialist in antitumor therapies, especially those which aim to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. Her laboratory recently released a paper in the journal Biomaterials describing a new way to deliver vaccines. The idea was quite ambitious: using bioengineered spider silk to encapsulate a vaccine in order to make it more stable and to facilitate delivery to the site of action. Ambitious but successfully done: These synthetic microparticles accumulate in organs of the immune system, such as lymph nodes, and efficiently stimulate T-lymphocyte immune responses. This strategy, which imitates and takes advantage of the best in Nature, is termed bioinspiration. Because many cancer patients lack strong antitumor immune responses, this approach may in the future support new cancer therapies targeting the immune system.