Cellulose Nanofibers: A Novel Adjuvant for Veternary and Medical Applications

Lead PI: Deborah Bouchard

Co-PI: Ian Bricknell

Date: 2017

Abstract: This proposal could lead to major advances in vaccine biotechnology and aquaculture. Many fish vaccines require powerful adjuvants to provide the degree and duration of protection required by fish farmers to protect their stocks. Most fish vaccines are currently formulated with oil based adjuvants that significantly increase the immune response of the fish. Unfortunately, they often have a major drawback as the up-regulation of the immune response causes granulomas and adhesions to form in and around the injections site. These lesions can trigger a significant growth penalty and go on to cause welfare issues as adhesions damage internal organs or cause benign tumors to form. This project will look at the potential for cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) to act as new generation vaccine adjuvants. Due to the physical properties and safety profile of nanocellulose, it is expected that they will act as an effective adjuvant without the side effects seen from oil based adjuvants. This ‘proof of concept’ project will provide pilot data for further funding by establishing the adjuvant properties of CNF & CNC.