Inhalable SARS-CoV-2 Mimetic Particles Induce Pleiotropic Antigen Presentation

Atip Lawanprasert, Andrew W. Simonson, Sarah E. Sumner, McKayla J. Nicol, Sopida Pimcharoen, Girish S. Kirimanjeswara, Scott H. Medina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has caused over 5.5 million deaths worldwide, and viral mutants continue to ravage communities with limited access to injectable vaccines or high rates of vaccine hesitancy. Inhalable vaccines have the potential to address these distribution and compliance issues as they are less likely to require cold storage, avoid the use of needles, and can elicit localized immune responses with only a single dose. Alveolar macrophages represent attractive targets for inhalable vaccines as they are abundant within the lung mucosa (up to 95% of all immune cells) and are important mediators of mucosal immunity, and evidence suggests that they may be key cellular players in early Covid-19 pathogenesis. Here, we report inhalable coronavirus mimetic particles (CoMiP) designed to rapidly bind to, and be internalized by, alveolar macrophages to deliver nucleic acid-encoded viral antigens. Inspired by the SARS-CoV-2 virion structure, CoMiP carriers package nucleic acid cargo within an endosomolytic peptide envelope that is wrapped in a macrophage-targeting glycosaminoglycan coating. Through this design, CoMiP mimic several important features of the SARS-CoV-2 virion, particularly surface topography and macromolecular chemistry. As a result, CoMiP effect pleiotropic transfection of macrophages and lung epithelial cells in vitro with multiple antigen-encoding plasmids. In vivo immunization yields increased mucosal IgA levels within the respiratory tract of CoMiP vaccinated mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1158-1168
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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