Application of ZnO-based nanocomposites for vaccines and cancer immunotherapy

Prashant Sharma, Na Yoon Jang, Jae Won Lee, Bum Chul Park, Young Keun Kim, Nam Hyuk Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering and application of nanomaterials have recently helped advance various biomedical fields. Zinc oxide (ZnO)-based nanocomposites have become one of the most promising candidates for biomedical applications due to their biocompatibility, unique physicochemical properties, and cost-effective mass production. In addition, recent advances in nano-engineering technologies enable the generation of ZnO nanocomposites with unique three-dimensional structures and surface characteristics that are optimally designed for in vivo applications. Here, we review recent advances in the application of diverse ZnO nanocomposites, with an especial focus on their development as vaccine adjuvant and cancer immunotherapeutics, as well as their intrinsic properties interacting with the immune system and potential toxic effect in vivo. Finally, we summarize promising proof-of-concept applications as prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines against infections and cancers. Understanding the nano-bio interfaces between ZnO-based nanocomposites and the immune system, together with bio-effective design of the nanomaterial using nano-architectonic technology, may open new avenues in expanding the biomedical application of ZnO nanocomposites as a novel vaccine platform.

Original languageEnglish
Article number493
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Nano & Material Technology Development Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (No. 2014M3A7B4052192). Y.K.K. acknowledges the support of the NRF of Korea (No. 2019R1A2C3006587). P.S., N.-Y.J., and J.-W.L. received a scholarship from the BK21-plus education program provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea. We would like to thank. Min-Gyu Jang for drawing of graphic figures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Cancer
  • Immune cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Toxicity
  • Vaccine
  • ZnO nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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