by Madhumathi Palaniappan on  December 20, 2016 at 12:55 PM Health Watch
  • DNA vaccines may serve as a potential alternative for conventional vaccines.
  • Novel method of using gold nanoparticles may help to deliver DNA Vaccines.

Nanoparticles May Show Promise in DNA Vaccine Delivery
Gold nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic molecules into the cells were developed by a research team from Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The method mainly controls the use of gold nanoparticles that are electrically activated, which causes them to oscillate and allow the entry of molecules like DNA, RNA and proteins.

DNA vaccines are potential alternatives to normal vaccines. They contain small circular pieces of DNA called plasmids; This contains one or more antigens that replicate from the cell chromosome.

Hadi Shafiee, Ph.D, assistant professor at Brigham and Women's Hospital and his team evaluated the use of nanoparticles to deliver DNA vaccine, specifically against the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) into the mice.

The research team found DNA vaccine to have induced a strong immune response which was shown by the anti-HCV antibodies that secrete inflammatory hormones. There was also no sign of toxicity in the mice through the three month study period.

Mohamed Shehata Draz, Ph.D, said, "Our concept is unique, Both the electric field parameters and the nanoparticle properties can be augmented to perform other important functions, such as precisely removing cells or blood clots."

Benefits of DNA Vaccines
  • DNA vaccines serve as a potential alternative to conventional vaccines.
  • Foreign substances that pose a risk to patients can be minimized by using DNA vaccines.
  • DNA vaccines show promise in taming cancer growth.
Shafiee, said, "One of the exciting aspects of this new method is that it enables drug delivery into tissues or cells in a universal way."

"We are eager to explore its use for other important biological molecules, including RNA." he added.

Disadvantages of DNA Vaccines
  • They may increase the risk of disrupting cellular process in the body.
  • There may be a chance of developing resistance towards the protein introduced by the vaccine.
  1. Mohamed Shehata Draz et al. 'Electrically Oscillating Plasmonic Nanoparticles for Enhanced DNA Vaccination against Hepatitis C Virus' Advanced Functional Materials ; (2016). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201604139
  2. DNA vaccines - (
  3. Advantages & Disadvantages of DNA Vaccines - (

Source: Medindia

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