Plants have been used to produce a new vaccine against poliovirus in what is hoped to be a major step towards global eradication of the disease.
The question for us now is how to scale it up - we don't want to stop at a lab technique."
Despite successes of plant-based expression to produce VLPs of papilloma and hepatitis B viruses, poliovirus VLPs had previously proved too unstable to make practical vaccines using this technique.
A problem is that the genetic material which causes replication of the virus and which is therefore absent from the VLPs, also has a role in holding the particles together.
Dave Stuart, Director of Life Sciences at Diamond and Professor of Structural Biology at University of Oxford said, "We were inspired by the successful synthetic vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease, also investigated at Diamond as part of UK research collaboration.
The results are outlined in the journal Nature communications: Plant-made Polio 3 stabilised VLPs - a candidate synthetic Polio vaccine.