Dry formulation of virus-like particles in electrospun nanofibers

Sasheen Dowlath, Katrin Campbell, Farah Al-Barwani, Vivienne L. Young, Sarah L. Young, Greg F. Walker, Vernon K. Ward*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Biologics can be combined with liquid polymer materials and electrospun to produce a dry nanofibrous scaffold. Unlike spray-drying and freeze-drying, electrospinning minimizes the physiological stress on sensitive materials, and nanofiber mat properties such as hydrophobicity, solubility, and melting temperature can be tuned based on the polymer composition. In this study, we explored the dry formulation of a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine by electrospinning VLP derived from rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus modified to carry the MHC-I gp100 tumor-associated antigen epitope. VLP were added to a polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) solution (15% w/v) followed by electrospinning at 24 kV. Formation of a nanofibrous mat was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy, and the presence of VLP was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy and Western blot. VLP from the nanofibers induced T-cell activation and interferon-(IFN-) γ production in vitro. To confirm in vivo cytotoxicity, Pmel mice treated by injection with gp100 VLP from nanofibers induced a gp100 specific immune response, lysing approximately 65% of gp100-pulsed target cells, comparable to mice vaccinated with gp100 VLP in PBS. VLP from nanofibers also induced an antibody response. This work shows that electrospinning can be used to dry-formulate VLP, preserving both humoral and cell-mediated immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dry-formulation
  • Electrospinning
  • Nanofiber
  • Vaccine
  • Virus-like particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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