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Vaccination over the skin without pain



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New vaccines to vaccinate through the skin

Researchers have successfully developed nanoparticles so that they can be used by human skin cells. With this new technology, vaccines could be targeted to the skin cells.

Protection from diseases

Vaccines are a very effective solution for various infectious diseases. So far, a needle has always been connected to the vaccination. But years ago, scientists said it might be possible to give vaccines through the skin in the future. And indeed, Australian scientists have recently developed a tool that will allow painless vaccination without the need for a needle. Researchers from Germany also reported a new insight into how vaccines could be given through the skin.

Vaccines are also not given by injection. But in the future, vaccinations could also be made through the skin. (Image: Adam Gregor / fotolia.com)

Nanoparticles evolved

Researchers at the Planet Column Planet and Max Planck Interfaces in Potsdam have further developed nanoparticles so that they can be absorbed by the special cells of the human skin.

As explained in a statement by the organization, these Langerhans cells like this are called coordinating the immune response and warning the body when pathogens or tumors occur in the organism. .

According to the experts, with this new technology platform, it would now be possible to introduce certain active substances, for example vaccines or medicines, into the cells of Langerhan in order to obtain a controlled immune response.

Reaction throughout the body

According to the scientists, the skin is a particularly attractive place for using a lot of drugs that affect the immune system.

The appropriate target cells are located in the skin just a few microns below their face. The Langerhans cells are located in this top skin layer, the epidermis.

These cells can cause a reaction in the whole body of the patient after a local active substance has been applied.

Germs protection experts

For drug distribution development has been targeted, which introduces the drugs directly to Langerhans cells, one uses their natural function: t

As a professionally introduced antigen cell, they recognize pathogens, take them up and introduce components of these pathogens to the effect cells of the immune system, the T. cells.

For detection and acceptance, the Langerhans cells use receptors on their side looking for the environment for pathogens. Such pathogens are recognized by the sugar structures they carry on their face.

Langerin, a protein of the family of C-type lectins, is one receptor of this type on Langerhans cells and is used to detect viruses and bacteria.

The specific expression of Llangerin on Langerhans cells allows transport to be targeted at therapies to reduce side effects at the same time.

The research team around Dr. Christoph Rademacher at the Planet Column Planet Interfaces and Interfaces Institute has now been able to draw on the knowledge of the basic detection mechanisms with atomic solution.

The scientists managed to develop a synthetic sugar-like substance that now binds specifically to Llangerin on the surface of Langerhans cells.

In collaboration with the scientific team from the Laboratory for Langerhans Cell Research at Innsbruck Medical University, nanoparticles have been developed which can be incorporated into Langerhans cells of the human skin through this interaction.

The researchers therefore lay the foundation for further developments, for example, to provide vaccines directly through the skin to the immune cells, which are then responsible for stimulating the whole body's immune system.

Based on these findings, it may be possible in the future to develop new vaccines against infections or immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer or autoimmune diseases.

The results of the researchers were published in the magazine "ACS Central Science".

Langerhans cells can activate the immune system

The starting point was the work of Ralph M. Steinman (2011 Nobel Prize) and other scientists who demonstrated the potential of dendritic cells. Langerhans cells are one of them, and can trigger an immune response.

These findings were then further developed to be used in cancer therapy and it could be demonstrated that an immune response can be achieved through artificially introduced antigens.

Later work confirmed this and also showed that the Langerhans human cells were able to activate the immune system, which is particularly interesting for the development of vaccines through the skin.

Therefore, the distribution of immunizers targeted to Langerhans cells would be desirable. However, this is often blocked or prevented by the complex environment of the skin, especially by competing with pococytes, the macrophages, in this tissue.

Therefore, active ingredients that the Langerhans cells no longer reach, by admission to neighboring cells, result in unnecessary side effects.

Binding by synthetic sugars

Based on findings on the recognition of natural sugar ligands from lining Christoph Rademacher developed an artificial ligan, which is specific to Langerin's cells on Langerhans.

For this purpose, synthetic sugars were produced in the laboratory and their interactions with the receptor were examined by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

With this method the researchers were able to determine which atoms in the ligan interacted with which parts of the receiver. Using this method based on structure, they arrived at a compound that could be anchored and tested on nanoparticles.

These particles are liposomes, which have been used for years without the ligand in the clinic as a carrier for different drugs.

The difference with existing systems is that the sugar-like ligand allows specific binding to Langerhans cells.

The investigations into these immune cells were carried out in conjunction with the Assoz research group. Professor Patrizia Stoitzner performed at the Langerhans Cell Research Laboratory at Innsbruck Medical University.

The co-operation between the two groups has shown that the specific use of liposomes is maintained even in the complex environment of human skin cells. Flow cytometry methods and confocal microscopy were used.

These liposomal particles can now provide a common platform for researchers in the MPI for Colloids and Interfaces to work on the development of new vaccines in the future. (Ad)

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