Vaccines are crucial to fight infections, cancer, and autoimmune conditions as they aid in generating immune response before the onset of the disease. Vaccines developed with purified molecules often do not stimulate an effective immune response as compared to the immune response generated against natural infection. Hence, adjuvants and co-adjuvants are necessary to make the vaccines effective. The development of vaccines acting on the regulatory mechanism of the immune system to produce the response could enhance the effectiveness and potency of the vaccine. Maturation of memory and killer T-cells at the lymph nodes is one of the essential regulatory mechanisms in producing the adaptive response. 

The present invention refers to the use of oxygen as an adjuvant for vaccines to increase the potency of vaccines by supporting T-cell maturation.

Technology Overview

Oxygen plays a vital role in the regulation of dendritic cells (DC) activation. DCs act as messenger cells between innate and adaptive immune systems. They help in the activation of B cells and T cells by presenting antigens and make the maturing immune cells antigen-specific. Northeastern researchers have found out that oxygen, which regulates dendritic cell activation, can improve immune responses when it is administered alongside vaccines or within a vaccine formulation. Hence, oxygen can be used as an adjuvant to enhance the efficiency and potency of the vaccines while maintaining a good safety profile.

Oxygen can be delivered:

  • Locally using common oxygen-releasing materials such as sodium percarbonate, a thin film of oxygen-releasing biomaterials, hydrogel applications 
  • Systemic using oxygen therapy such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, supplemental oxygen therapy


  • Improves vaccine immunization
  • Enhances the potency of the vaccine 
  • Local or systemic delivery of oxygen is possible
  • Non-toxic adjuvant
  • Applicable to current and new vaccines
  • Suitable to prevent or treat across various diseases: infectious, cancer, autoimmune
  • Cost-effective solution


  • Improvement of current and future vaccines
    • Prevent human, zoonotic, and plant-based diseases (prophylactic vaccines)
    • Treat human and animal diseases (therapeutic vaccines)
  • Nonsurgical hormone-blocking vaccine-based sterilization/neutering of animals
  • Adjuvant for immunotherapies


  •  License
  • Partnering 
  • Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Sidi Bencherif
Thibault Colombani