Aim: To design lympho-targeted nanocarriers with the capacity to enhance the activity of associated drugs/antigens whose target is within the lymphatic system. Materials & methods: Inulin (INU)-based nanocapsules (NCs), negatively charged and positively charged chitosan NCs were prepared by the solvent displacement techniques. The NCs were produced in two sizes: small (70 nm) and medium (170-250 nm). Results: In vitro results indicated that small NCs interacted more efficiently with dendritic cells than the larger ones. The study of the NCs biodistribution in mice, using 3D reconstruction of the popliteal lymph node, showed that small INU NCs have the greatest access and uniform accumulation in different subsets of resident immune cells. Conclusion: Small and negatively charged INU NCs have a potential as lympho-targeted antigen/drug nanocarriers.
Keywords: chitosan; dendritic cells; inulin; lymph nodes; nanocapsules; particle size; targeting; two-photon microscopy.