Oral administration of dry vaccine formulations is acknowledged to offer major clinical and logistical benefits by eliminating the cold chain required for liquid preparations. A model antigen, bovine serum albumin (BSA) was encapsulated in alginate microspheres using aerosolisation. Hydrated microspheres 25 to 65 pm in size with protein loading of 3.3% w/w were obtained. Environmental scanning electron microscopy indicated a stabilizing effect of encapsulated protein on alginate hydrogels revealed by an increase in dehydration resistance. Freeze drying of alginate microspheres without use of a cryoprotectant resulted in fragmentation and subsequent rapid loss of the majority of the protein load in simulated intestinal fluid in 2 h, whereas intact microspheres were observed following freeze-drying of BSA-loaded microspheres in the presence of maltodextrin. BSA release from freeze-dried preparations was limited to less than 7% in simulated gastric fluid over 2 h, while 90% of the protein load was gradually released in simulated intestinal fluid over 10 h. SDS-PAGE analysis indicated that released BSA largely preserved its molecular weight. These findings demonstrate the potential for manufacturing freeze-dried oral vaccines using alginate microspheres.
- Alginate hydrogel microspheres
- Bovine serum albumin
- In vitro release
- Maltodextrin cryoprotectant
- Oral vaccine