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Engineered Ferritin Nanoparticle Vaccines Enable Rapid Screening of Antibody Functionalization to Boost Immune Responses
Mai Vu et al
Adv Healthc Mater; doi: 10.1002/adhm.202202595
Employing monoclonal antibodies to target vaccine antigens to different immune cells within lymph nodes where adaptive immunity is initiated can provide a mechanism to fine-tune the magnitude or the quality of immune responses. However, studying the effects of different targeting antibodies head-to-head is challenging due to the lack of a feasible method that allows rapid screening of multiple antibodies for their impact on immunogenicity. Here self-assembling ferritin nanoparticles are prepared that co-display vaccine antigens and the Fc-binding domain of Staphylococcal protein A, allowing rapid attachment of soluble antibodies to the nanoparticle surface. Using this tunable system, ten antibodies targeting different immune cell subsets are screened, with targeting to Clec9a associated with higher serum antibody titers after immunization. Immune cell targeting using ferritin nanoparticles with anti-Clec9a antibodies drives concentrated deposition of antigens within germinal centers, boosting germinal center formation and robust antibody responses. However, the capacity to augment humoral immunity is antigen-dependent, with significant boosting observed for prototypic ovalbumin immunogens but reduced effectiveness with the SARS-CoV-2 RBD. This work provides a rapid platform for screening targeting antibodies, which will accelerate mechanistic insights into optimal delivery strategies for nanoparticle-based vaccines to maximize protective immunity.