Platform for Active Vaccine Formulation Using a Two-Mode Enhancement Mechanism of Epitope Presentation by Pickering Emulsion

Guy Mechrez*, Karthik Ananth Mani, Abhijit Saha, Oded Lachman, Neta Luria, Ori Molad, Liliya Kotliarevski, Einat Zelinger, Elisheva Smith, Noga Yaakov, Dalia Shabashov Stone, Meital Reches*, Aviv Dombrovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The efficiency of epitope-based vaccination (subunit vaccines) is tightly correlated with heterogeneity and the high density of epitope presentation, which maximizes the potential antigenic determinants. Here, we developed a two-mode platform for intensifying the epitope presentation of subunit vaccines. The two-mode epitope presentation enhancement includes a covalent attachment of high concentrations of SARS-CoV-2-S1 peptide epitope to the surface of virus-like-particles (VLPs) and the subsequent assembly of VLP/epitope conjugates on the oil droplet surface at an oil/water interface of an emulsion as Pickering stabilizers. The resultant emulsions were stable for weeks in ambient conditions, and our platform was challenged using the epitope of the SARS-CoV-2-S1 peptide that served as a model epitope in this study. In vivo assays showed that the αSARS-CoV-2-S1 immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers of the studied mouse antisera, developed against the SARS-CoV-2-S1 peptide under different epitope preparation conditions, showed an order of magnitude higher IgG titers in the studied VLP-based emulsions than epitopes dissolved in water and epitopes administered with an adjuvant, thereby confirming the efficacy of the formulation. This VLP-based Pickering emulsion platform is a fully synthetic approach that can be readily applied for vaccine development to a wide range of pathogens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3859-3869
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


  • Pickering emulsion
  • epitope-based vaccination
  • plant virus
  • subunit vaccines
  • virus-like-particles


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