Multiplex Nanocarrier-based Hydrogels for Prevention of Vaginal HIV Transmission.

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): With the incidence of HIV infection on the rise, the development of vaccines and topical microbicides has been a major worldwide priority. However, the results of recent trials have been disappointing. As such, the induction of sterilizing immunity and protection against HIV infection continues to be a major public health goal. 'Microbicides', topically applied agents that prevent HIV transmission from person to person, are still believed to hold considerable promise. In fact, it has been suggested that a microbicide with only 60% efficacy could prevent about 1 million HIV infections per year. Given recent clinical failures, there is an urgent need to rethink the concept of microbicides. Therefore, the long-term objective of the proposed research is to design, construct and evaluate a multiplex nanocarrier-based polyethylene glycol (PEG) vaginal hydrogel for preventing HIV transmission. PEG is nontoxic and biocompatible. Hydrogels resemble living tissue due to their high-water content and soft/rubbery characteristics. The hydrogel is a liquid upon instillation allowing for high vaginal dispersion/mucosal coverage where it then undergoes a rapid phase transition to form a visco-elastic gel. The proposed gel must be multifunctional since it has been shown that (1) sexually transmitted and genital infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) increase the risk of HIV transmission by weakening mucosal barriers and by stimulating an inflammatory response that may activate or recruit HIV target cells to the portals of viral entry, (2) low vaginal pH (
Effective start/end date9/15/098/31/14


  • National Institutes of Health: $378,564.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $378,564.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $382,388.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $386,250.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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