Encapsulation of hydrophobic allergens into nanoparticles improves the in vitro immunological diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis

Nanomedicine. 2015 May;11(4):1029-33. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2015.02.001. Epub 2015 Feb 14.


The diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) relies on in vivo patch testing. In vitro immunological assays based on the characterization of circulating allergen-specific memory T cells represent a promising alternative to patch testing. However, their development is hampered by the technical challenge of assessing hydrophobic allergens in serum-based assays. In this study, we show that the encapsulation of fragrance mix 1 (FMI, a mixture of 8 hydrophobic allergens) into poly-ε-caprolactone nanoparticle (NP) vectors: (1) dramatically increases the solubilization of allergens in conventional cell culture media and (2) allows for a robust in vitro reactivation of allergen-specific T cells in large numbers of fragrance allergic patients. Therefore, the encapsulation of hydrophobic allergens into NP vectors opens new avenues to improve the in vitro immunobiological diagnosis of ACD.

From the clinical editor: Allergic Contact Dermatitis (ACD) is a delayed-type hypersensivity reaction prevalent in many individuals. Currently, skin patch testing has been the mainstay for diagnosis clinically. In this study, the authors described an improvement to in vitro immunological assays measuring circulating allergen-specific memory T cells, using nanoparticle vectors. The positive data might provide an exciting alternative to current practice of patch-testing.

Keywords: Allergic contact dermatitis; Diagnosis; Fragrances; Immunobiological assays; Poly-ε-caprolactone nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Allergens*
  • Dermatitis, Allergic Contact / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Polyesters*


  • Allergens
  • Polyesters
  • polycaprolactone