The design of nanostructured materials based on natural components, such as clay minerals, offers new solutions to biomedical challenges such as more efficient and storage-stable vaccines. Clay-lipid hybrid materials have proved useful as adjuvants in influenza vaccines and with a possible projection to leishmaniasis vaccines and other pathogens. Self-assembly of phospholipid molecules on the surface of microfibrous sepiolite and lamellar Mg/Al layered double hydroxide renders a biocompatible lipid bilayer membrane that ensures non-degrading immobilization of proteins and other biological species including viral particles and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Immunization tests in mice showed the superior immunogenicity of a clay-lipid-supported virus compared to a commercial aluminium hydroxide adjuvant.

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