Lipid Nanoparticles Are Used as Delivery Vehicles for Moderna's mRNA-1273 and BioNtech/Pfizer's BNT162b2
Lipid Nanoparticles (LNPs) are 30-200nm particles made of lipids, the same building blocks that human cell membranes are made of. Lipid-based formulations, including liposomes, micelles, and lipid nanoparticles, are a new pharmaceutical drug delivery system and a novel pharmaceutical. While several lipid-based formulations have been approved as commercial pharmaceuticals, LNPs have further proved their promises in 2020, as some COVID-19 vaccines use RNA vaccine technologies by Mordena and Pfizer/BioNTech. The mRNA formulations are encapsulated by PEGylated lipid nanoparticles that work as the delivery vehicle of the active ingredients 1. This year, two major and successful mRNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, including Moderna's mRNA-1273 and Pfizer/BioNtech's BNT162b2, also use lipid nanoparticles as their drug delivery system.
Lipid nanoparticles have several potentials in the emerging field of lipid-based nanotechnology in medicine. These precisely sized nanoparticles offer the possibility of improved therapeutics and delivery of active ingredients to the site of interest. The capability of these types of nanoparticles could significantly improve the bioavailability and targeted drug delivery. The diverse class of natural and synthetic lipids also allows the architect to architect these nanoparticles' size and composition precisely for various gene and active ingredient formulations. These formulations can be altered by their surface modifications and several chemical and physical variants of the lipid types for strategizing these drug delivery vehicles for specific applications. As examples, we can name a few general types for these formulations here: liposomes, micellar solutions, polymeric lipid nanoparticles, self-emulsifying delivery systems, microemulsions, as well as solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN).
There are a wide range of scalable processes to make these lipid nanoparticles, which we offer them most at T&T Scientific by our technologies and services: 1) Direct Ethanol Injections, 2) Thin Film Hydration and Extrusion, 3) High-Pressure Microfluidization, and 4) Sonication.
In a recent publication in nature by S. Novakowski, four variant formulation of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) was used to carry mRNA to platelets and are compared using confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, and quantitative PCR. This was a great finding that the concentration of mRNA delivered, the uptake process, and extent of platelet activation depended on the LNP formulation and platelet storage conditions 2.
The stability of mRNA lipid nanoparticles has been investigated by Pengxuan Zhao et al. In this work, they have demonstrated that 5% (w/v) sucrose or trehalose addition to formulations could stabilize the mRNA delivery efficiency for at least three months in the liquid nitrogen storage condition.
- Saupe, A., and Rades, T., 2006. Solid lipid nanoparticles. In Nanocarrier Technologies (pp. 41-50). Springer, Dordrecht.
- Novakowski, S., Jiang, K., Prakash, G., and Kastrup, C., 2019. Delivery of mRNA to platelets using lipid nanoparticles. Scientific reports, 9(1), pp.1-11.
- Zhao, P., Hou, X., Yan, J., Du, S., Xue, Y., Li, W., Xiang, G. and Dong, Y., 2020. Long-term storage of lipid-like nanoparticles for mRNA delivery. Bioactive materials, 5(2), pp.358-363.
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