Enhanced Stability and Controlled Delivery of MOF Encapsulated Vaccines and Their Immunogenic Response In Vivo

Vaccines have an innate tendency to lose their structural conformation upon environmental and chemical stressors. A loss in conformation reduces the therapeutic ability to prevent the spread of a pathogen. Herein, we report an in-depth study of zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) and its ability to provide protection for a model viral vector against dena- turing conditions. The immunoassay and spectroscopy analysis together demonstrate enhanced thermal and chemical stability to the conformational structure of the encapsulated viral nanoparticle. The long-term biological activity of this virus-ZIF composite was investigated in animal models to further elucidate the integrity of the encapsulated virus, the bio-safety, and immunogenicity of the overall composite. Additionally, histological analysis found no observable tissue damage in the skin or vital organs in mice, following multiple subcutaneous administrations. This study shows that ZIF-based protein composites are strong candidates for improved preservation of proteinaceous drugs, are biocompatible, and capable of controlling the release and adsorption of drugs in vivo.