Nanoemulsion vaccines have recently shown promise as
effective protection against numerous viral diseases.
A novel technique, developed by researchers at the University
of Michigan, for vaccinating against infectious diseases,
using oil-based emulsion placed in the nose, was able
to produce a strong immune response against smallpox
and HIV in animal studies. It has prompted interest
in nanoemulsion vaccines that induce mucosal immunity
in which the immune system stops and kills the invader
in mucous membranes before it enters the body system.
Further research in the field could lead to the development
of effective and safer human nanoemulsion vaccines against
smallpox, and vaccines able to induce mucosal immunity,
cellular immunity and neutralizing antibody to various
isolates of HIV virus.
Nanoemulsions are non-toxic lipid droplets, defined
as oil-in-water or water-in-oil emulsions having nano
particle size, and usually made from surfactants approved
for human consumption. Since these are made from surfactants,
nanoemulsions are non-toxic, non-irritant, and hence
can be deployed on skin and mucous membranes.