David L. Kaplan, Ph.D., Tufts University
The goal of this project is to develop a silk biomaterial system for the stabilization and delivery of the mumps vaccine without the need for refrigeration or special storage requirements. We seek to develop a tailorable delivery system that can easily be modified to facilitate ease of delivery and to accommodate dose requirements. We seek to optimize the system by investigating the mechanistic basis of vaccine stabilization, the various options of encapsulating and delivery of the vaccine, and the efficacy of the system to elicit and maintain the necessary immune response. The project is divided into two aims: (1) production and in vitro thermostability assessment of silk-based delivery vehicles by investigating the mechanisms of stabilization and controlled release through silk; and (2) in vivo assessment of the efficacy of these silk-based delivery vehicles to provide the necessary immune response in a hamster model.