Low energy nebulization preserves integrity of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines for respiratory delivery

C. J.M. van Rijn, K.E. Vlaming, R.A. Bem, R.J. Dekker, A. Poortinga, T. Breit, S. van Leeuwen, W.A. Ensink, K. van Wijnbergen, J.L. van Hamme, D. Bonn, T.B.H. Geijtenbeek

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Nebulization of mRNA therapeutics can be used to directly target the respiratory tract. A promising prospect is that mucosal administration of lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-based mRNA vaccines may lead to a more efficient protection against respiratory viruses. However, the nebulization process can rupture the LNP vehicles and degrade the mRNA molecules inside. Here we present a novel nebulization method able to preserve substantially the integrity of vaccines, as tested with two SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines. We compare the new method with well-known nebulization methods used for medical respiratory applications. We find that a lower energy level in generating LNP droplets using the new nebulization method helps safeguard the integrity of the LNP and vaccine. By comparing nebulization techniques with different energy dissipation levels we find that LNPs and mRNAs can be kept largely intact if the energy dissipation remains below a threshold value, for LNP integrity 5–10 J/g and for mRNA integrity 10–20 J/g for both vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8851
Number of pages9
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023

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