Amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles stabilize bacillus anthracis protective antigen

L. K. Petersen, Y. Phanse, A. E. Ramer-Tait, M. J. Wannemuehler, B. Narasimhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Advancements toward an improved vaccine against Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, have focused on formulations composed of the protective antigen (PA) adsorbed to aluminum hydroxide. However, due to the labile nature of PA, antigen stability is a primary concern for vaccine development. Thus, there is a need for a delivery system capable of preserving the immunogenicity of PA through all the steps of vaccine fabrication, storage, and administration. In this work, we demonstrate that biodegradable amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles, which have previously been shown to provide controlled antigen delivery, antigen stability, immune modulation, and protection in a single dose against a pathogenic challenge, can stabilize and release functional PA. These nanoparticles demonstrated polymer hydrophobicity-dependent preservation of the biological function of PA upon encapsulation, storage (over extended times and elevated temperatures), and release. Specifically, fabrication of amphiphilic polyanhydride nanoparticles composed of 1,6-bis(p-carboxyphenoxy)hexane and 1,8-bis(p-carboxyphenoxy)-3,6- dioxaoctane best preserved PA functionality. These studies demonstrate the versatility and superiority of amphiphilic nanoparticles as vaccine delivery vehicles suitable for long-term storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-882
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Pharmaceutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • nanoparticles
  • polyanhydrides
  • protective antigen for anthrax
  • protein stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery


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