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Biotin Functionalized Self-Assembled Peptide Nanofiber as an Adjuvant for Immunomodulatory Response

   Demircan, Muhammed Burak; Tohumeken, Sehmus; Gunduz, Nuray; Khalily, Mohammad Aref; Tekinay, Turgay; Guler, Mustafa O.; Tekinay, Ayse B.

Biotinylated peptide amphiphile (Biotin-PA) nanofibers, are designed as a noncovalent binding location for antigens, which are adjuvants to enhance, accelerate, and prolong the immune response triggered by antigens. Presenting antigens on synthetic Biotin-PA nanofibers generated a higher immune response than the free antigens delivered with a cytosine-phosphate-guanine oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG ODN) (TLR9 agonist) adjuvant. Antigen attached Biotin-PA nanofibers trigger splenocytes to produce high levels of cytokines (IFN-gamma, IL-12, TNF-alpha, and IL-6) and to exhibit a superior cross-presentation of the antigen. Both Biotin-PA nanofibers and CpG ODN induce a Th-1-biased IgG subclass response; however, delivering the antigen with Biotin-PA nanofibers induce significantly greater production of total IgG and subclasses of IgG compared to delivering the antigen with CpG ODN. Contrary to CpG ODN, Biotin-PA nanofibers also enhance antigen-specific splenocyte proliferation and increase the proportion of the antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. Given their biodegradability and biocompatibility, Biotin-PA nanofibers have a significant potential in immunoengineering applications as a biomaterial for the delivery of a diverse set of antigens derived from intracellular pathogens, emerging viral diseases such as COVID-19, or cancer cells to induce humoral and cellular immune responses against the antigens.

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