Subcutaneous vaccination using injectable biodegradable hydrogels for long-term immune response
Prolonged vaccine release enables gradual immunostimulation, providing long-term immunity. Herein, Vitamin E-PEG-Vitamin E triblock ‘ABA’ hydrogel, which is formed through physical cross-linking of flower-shaped micelles and can reside in vivo for >17 weeks, was employed for delivery of cancer preventive vaccines to provide sustained anticancer immunity. Mice vaccinated with hydrogel formulations produced a significantly higher quantity of antibodies compared to solution formulations. OVA was used to study EG.7-OVA tumor rejection in vaccinated mice. Among all formulations, OVA-loaded hydrogel containing aluminum-based adjuvant had the best therapeutic outcome, and only 2/10 mice developed solid tumors with significantly smaller tumor size. Moreover, no adverse effect on liver and kidney was detected with the hydrogel formulation. In a lymphoma metastasis mouse model, vaccination with the OVA-loaded hydrogel and adjuvant resulted in increased survival (66.7%) compared to other formulations (12.5-50%) over 100 days. This hydrogel is a promising formulation for sustained delivery of vaccines.