Vaccine Design pp 249-276 | Cite as

Structure and Properties of Aluminum-Containing Adjuvants

  • Stanley L. Hem
  • Joe L. White
Part of the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology book series (PBIO, volume 6)


The use of aluminum-containing adjuvants originated in 1926 with the observations of Glenny et al. (1926) that an alum-precipitated diphtheria vaccine had greater antigenic properties than the standard diphtheria vaccine. Other aluminum hydroxide gels used in the preparation of vaccines were shown by the early X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy studies of Souza Santos et al. (1958) to consist of crystalline phases ranging from poorly ordered boehmite (aluminum oxyhydroxide, A100H) to well-crystallized gibbsite and bayerite [aluminum hydroxide polymorphs, Al(OH)3]. Aluminum hydroxide gels containing phosphate were also developed as adjuvants. Although aluminum compounds have a long history of use as adjuvants, inconsistent antibody production has been a recurrent problem (Warren and Chedid, 1988). The adjuvant action of aluminum hydroxide has been reviewed by Aprile and Wardlaw (1966), Edelman (1980), Warren et al. (1986), and Nicklas (1992). Although the mechanism of adjuvant action of aluminum hydroxide and related phases is not fully understood, it is likely that surface area, surface charge, and morphology of the aluminum hydroxide are important factors (Hem and White, 1984).


Adsorptive Capacity Aluminum Hydroxide Sulfate Anion Phosphate Anion Amorphous Aluminum 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley L. Hem
    • 1
  • Joe L. White
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Physical PharmacyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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