Modular nanoarray vaccine for SARS-CoV-2

Karen Zagorski, Kabita Pandey, Rajesh Rajaiah, Omalla A. Olwenyi, Aditya N. Bade, Arpan Acharya, Morgan Johnston, Shaun Filliaux, Yuri L. Lyubchenko, Siddappa N. Byrareddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The current vaccine development strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic utilize whole inactive or attenuated viruses, virus-like particles, recombinant proteins, and antigen-coding DNA and mRNA with various delivery strategies. While highly effective, these vaccine development strategies are time-consuming and often do not provide reliable protection for immunocompromised individuals, young children, and pregnant women. Here, we propose a novel modular vaccine platform to address these shortcomings using chemically synthesized peptides identified based on the validated bioinformatic data about the target. The vaccine is based on the rational design of an immunogen containing two defined B-cell epitopes from the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 and the universal T-helper epitope PADRE. The epitopes were conjugated to short DNA probes and combined with a complementary scaffold strand, resulting in sequence-specific self-assembly. The immunogens were then formulated by conjugation to gold nanoparticles by three methods or by co-crystallization with epsilon inulin. BALB/C mice were immunized with each formulation, and the IgG immune responses and virus neutralizing titers were compared. The results demonstrate that this assembly is immunogenic and generates neutralizing antibodies against wildtype SARS-CoV-2 and the Delta variant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102604
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Epitope
  • Peptide
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccine
  • Variants of concerns (VOC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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