1 Pharmaceutical Design and Drug Delivery, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Christian Albrecht University3 Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida4 unknown5 Pharmaceutical Design and Drug Delivery, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Vaccines utilising pure antigens instead of whole pathogens and alternative administration routes require the use of potent adjuvants and effective antigen delivery systems. Chitosan has been reported to act as both an adjuvant as well as a matrix for delivery systems. Chitosan is a natural product produced predominantly from crab shell and commercially available preparations vary in molecular weight, degree of deacetylation and purity. In this study, the impact of chitosan characteristics (molecular weight, degree of deacetylation, particle size, viscosity and impurities) on adjuvant activity were examined. It could be shown that the degree of immune response differed if different chitosan qualities were used and this could be attributed to different characteristics of the chitosan qualities: the immunoadjuvant effect of chitosan probably is a result of an interplay between chemical properties such as molecular weight and degree of deacetylation and physical properties such as particle size and preparation technique, which impacts characteristics such as solubility and viscosity. Hence, the chitosan quality to be used as adjuvant in vaccine preparations needs to be selected carefully.