Mucosal delivery of antigens can induce both humoral and cellular immune responses. Particularly, the nasal cavity is a strongly inductive site for mucosal immunity among several administration routes, as it is generally the first point of contact for inhaled antigens. However, the delivery of antigens to the nasal cavity has some disadvantages such as rapid clearance and disposition of inhaled materials. For these reasons, remarkable efforts have been made to develop antigen delivery systems which suit the nasal route. The use of nanoparticles as delivery vehicles enables protection of the antigen from degradation and sustains the release of the loaded antigen, eventually resulting in improved vaccine and/or drug efficacy. Chitosan, which exhibits low toxicity, biodegradability, good cost performance, and strong mucoadhesive properties, is a useful material for nanoparticles. The present review provides an overview of the mucosal immune response induced by nanoparticles, recent advances in the use of nanoparticles, and nasal delivery systems with chitosan nanoparticles.
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