Importance of the field: The mucosal delivery of vaccines provides the basis for induction of humoral, cellular and mucosal immune responses against infectious diseases. The delivery of antigens to and through mucosal barriers always remains challenging due to adverse physiological conditions (pH and enzymes) and biological barriers created by tight epithelial junctions restricting transportation of macromolecules. Mucoadhesive and biodegradable polymers offer numerous advantages in therapeutic delivery of proteins/antigens particularly through the mucosal route by protecting antigens from degradation, increasing concentration of antigen in the vicinity of mucosal tissue for better absorption, extending their residence time in the body and/or targeting them to sites of antigen uptake. Furthermore, antigen can be delivered more effectively to the antigen presenting cells by anchoring the ligand having affinity on the surface of carrier for the receptors present on the mucosal epithelial cells. Areas covered in this review: The present review covers various polymeric carriers, which allow the possibility of modification and manipulation of their properties, thereby, enhancing the effectiveness of mucosal vaccines. This article reviews the recent literature and patents in the field of vaccine delivery using mucoadhesive polymeric carriers. What the reader will gain: The reader will gain insights into various natural polymers, synthetic polymers and ligand derived polymeric carrier systems studied to enhance mucosal immunization. Take home message: Biodegradable polymeric carriers represent a promising approach for mucosal delivery of vaccine. © 2010 Informa UK Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery