Emerging Concepts and Technologies in Vaccine Development

Morgan Brisse, Sophia M. Vrba, Natalie M Kirk, Yuying Liang, Hinh Ly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Despite the success of vaccination to greatly mitigate or eliminate threat of diseases caused by pathogens, there are still known diseases and emerging pathogens for which the development of successful vaccines against them is inherently difficult. In addition, vaccine development for people with compromised immunity and other pre-existing medical conditions has remained a major challenge. Besides the traditional inactivated or live attenuated, virus-vectored and subunit vaccines, emerging non-viral vaccine technologies, such as viral-like particle and nanoparticle vaccines, DNA/RNA vaccines, and rational vaccine design, offer innovative approaches to address existing challenges of vaccine development. They have also significantly advanced our understanding of vaccine immunology and can guide future vaccine development for many diseases, including rapidly emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, and diseases that have not traditionally been addressed by vaccination, such as cancers and substance abuse. This review provides an integrative discussion of new non-viral vaccine development technologies and their use to address the most fundamental and ongoing challenges of vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number583077
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Sep 30 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in parts by NIH NIAID grant R01 AI131586, USDA-NIFA-Capacity Funds (Hatch and Animal Health), and the University of Minnesota School of Medicine Academic Investment Research Program (AIRP) and COVID-19 Rapid Response Funds to HL and YL, USDA-NIFA AFRI grant #2019-05384 and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Rapid Agricultural Response Fund to HL, and by a pre-doctoral NIH fellowship T32 DA007097 to MB. NIH T32 training grant in Comparative Medicine and Pathology (5T32 OD010993-17) for NK.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Brisse, Vrba, Kirk, Liang and Ly.


  • COVID19
  • cancer vaccines
  • infectious disease
  • nanoparticle vaccines
  • non-viral DNA-RNA vaccines
  • noncommunicable disease
  • substance abuse
  • virus-like particle vaccines


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