Adjuvant Emulsions

Creative Biolabs is a world leader in the field of vaccine adjuvants development. With our extensive experience and advanced platform, we are therefore confident in offering the best services for vaccine adjuvants for use in vaccine development and guarantee the finest results for our customers all over the world.

Adjuvant Emulsions - Creative Biolabs

Adjuvant Emulsions

An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible, defined as a dispersion of a liquid called the dispersed phase in a second liquid called the continuous phase with which the first one is not miscible. In vaccine formulations, these phases are water (antigenic media) and oil. Based on the HLB value of the surfactant, different kind of emulsions can be achieved. Water in oil (W/O) emulsions can induce a strong and long term immune response. Those based on mineral oils are known to be very efficient but can sometimes induce local reactions with reactive antigens. Non mineral oils are well tolerated but less efficient with poor immunogens. Oil in water (O/W) emulsions are well tolerated and induce a short term immune response and the multiphasic (W/O/W) emulsions would induce short and long term immune responses with various antigens. Adjuvant emulsions function as delivery systems by generating depots that trap antigens at the injection site, providing slow release in order to continue the stimulation of the immune system. These adjuvants enhance the antigen persistence at the injection site and increase recruitment and activation of antigen presenting cells (APCs).

Immunostimulation by Adjuvant Emulsions

Emulsion-based adjuvants are also widely used in vaccine development. The most commonly used adjuvants are oil emulsions such as Freund’s complete adjuvant function by creating a depot at the injection site and slowly releasing antigen which elicits the desired immune response due to it was considered too toxic for human use. Another widely used emulsion is MF59 which can is a potent stimulator of both cellular (Th1) and humoral (Th2) immune responses. The adjuvant’s formulation of emulsions can protect also the antigen from a rapid degradation by enzymes and could modify the electric charge of the antigen becoming then, more immunogenic. They create also an inflammation and stimulate the recruitment of antigen presenting cells such as macrophages, but also lymphocytes. They are also able to favour the uptake of antigens by APC and this can be explained by the interactions between the surfactant and the cellular membrane. Lymphocyte trapping is another mechanism of action of oil adjuvants. They stimulate the accumulation of lymphocytes in draining lymph nodes and alter recirculation hence facilitating cell association. Finally, specific cytokines can be induced according to the type of emulsion selected.

Application potential of Adjuvant Emulsions

The duration of immunity also needs to be considered. The selection of the adjuvant is different if short or long term immunity is required. The route of inoculation is also important as it can have an influence on the local reactions and on the type of immune response induced. Subcutaneous and intramuscular administration of the same vaccine formulation can give different immune responses. There is no universal adjuvant and they must be adapted according to several criteria in order to have the best balance between safety and efficacy. Depending on the type of target species, the choice of the emulsion will vary as some animals are more sensitive than others. The complication of emulsion-based adjuvants is their most important potential to induce autoimmunity.

Creative Biolabs is a leader in the field of vaccine adjuvant development and has focused on the adjuvant emulsions platform for many years. We have experts who are able to help you with the development of the adjuvant emulsions for use in vaccines. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.


  1. J. Aucouturier. (2001). “Adjuvants designed for veterinary and human vaccines” Vaccine 19, 2666-2671.

All of our products can only be used for research purposes. These vaccine ingredients CANNOT be used directly on humans or animals.

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All of our products can only be used for research purposes. These vaccine ingredients CANNOT be used directly on humans or animals.

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