The sixth revolution in pediatric vaccinology: immunoengineering and delivery systems

Dheeraj Soni, Sharan Bobbala, Sophia Li, Evan A. Scott, David J. Dowling*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Abstract: Infection is the predominant cause of mortality in early life, and immunization is the most promising biomedical intervention to reduce this burden. However, very young infants fail to respond optimally to most vaccines currently in use, especially neonates. In 2005, Stanley Plotkin proposed that new delivery systems would spur a new revolution in pediatric vaccinology, just as attenuation, inactivation, cell culture of viruses, genetic engineering, and adjuvantation had done in preceding decades. Recent advances in the field of immunoengineering, which is evolving alongside vaccinology, have begun to increasingly influence vaccine formulation design. Historically, the particulate nature of materials used in many vaccine formulations was empiric, often because of the need to stabilize antigens or reduce endotoxin levels. However, present vaccine delivery systems are rationally engineered to mimic the size, shape, and surface chemistry of pathogens, and are therefore often referred to as “pathogen-like particles”. More than a decade from his original assessment, we re-assess Plotkin’s prediction. In addition, we highlight how immunoengineering and advanced delivery systems may be uniquely capable of enhancing vaccine responses in vulnerable populations, such as infants. Impact: Immunoengineering and advanced delivery systems are leading to new developments in pediatric vaccinology.Summarizes delivery systems currently in use and development, and prospects for the future.Broad overview of immunoengineering’s impact on vaccinology, catering to Pediatric Clinicians and Immunologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1372
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric research
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The sixth revolution in pediatric vaccinology: immunoengineering and delivery systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this