Navigation Links
Yale scientists create artificial 'cells' that boost the immune response to cancer

New Haven, Conn. Using artificial cell-like particles, Yale biomedical engineers have devised a rapid and efficient way to produce a 45-fold enhancement of T cell activation and expansion, an immune response important for a patients ability to fight cancer and infectious diseases, according to an advance on line report in Molecular Therapy.

The artificial cells, developed by Tarek Fahmy, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Yale and his graduate student Erin Steenblock, are made of a material commonly used for biodegradable sutures. The authors say that the new method is the first off-the-shelf antigen-presenting artificial cell that can be tuned to target a specific disease or infection.

This procedure is likely to make it to the clinic rapidly, said senior author Fahmy. All of the materials we use are natural, biodegradable already have FDA approval.

Cancer, viral infections and autoimmune diseases have responded to immunotherapy that boosts a patients own antigen-specific T cells. In those previous procedures, a patients immune cells were harvested and then exposed to cells that stimulate the activation and proliferation of antigen-specific T-cells. The boosted immune cells were then infused back into the patient to attack the disease.

Limitations of these procedures include costly and tedious custom isolation of cells for individual patients and the risk of adverse reaction to foreign cells, according to the Yale researchers. They also pointed to difficulty in obtaining and maintaining sufficient numbers of activated T-cells for effective therapeutic response.

In the new system, the outer surface of each particle is covered in universal adaptor molecules that serve as attachment points for antigens molecules that activate the patients T-cells to recognize and fight off the targeted disease and for stimulatory molecules. Inside of each particle, there are slowly released cytokines that further stimulate the activated T-cells to proliferate to as much as 45 times their original number.

Our process introduces several important improvements, said lead author Steenblock. First, the universal surface adaptors allow us to add a span of targeting antigen and co-stimulatory molecules. We can also create a sustained release of encapsulated cytokines. These enhancements mimic the natural binding and signaling events that lead to T-cell proliferation in the body. It also causes a fast and effective stimulation of the patients T-cells particularly T-cells of the cytotoxic type important for eradicating cancer.

Safe and efficient T-cell stimulation and proliferation in response to specific antigens is a goal of immunotherapy against infectious disease and cancer, said Fahmy. Our ability to manipulate this response so rapidly and naturally with an off the shelf reproducible biomaterial is a big step forward.

Fahmy was recently awarded a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award for work on this process and ways of engineering biomaterials to manipulate immune responses to fight cancer and other diseases. His approach incorporates signals important for T-cell stimulation in biocompatible polymer particulates, and integrates all the signals needed for efficient T-cell stimulation.

According to the NSF, devices as such these offer ease and flexibility in targeting different types of T-cells, and is expected to lead to state of the art improvements in the preparation of a new generation of therapeutic systems.


Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
Yale University

Related biology news :

1. Scientists unravel the genetic coding of the pea
2. Scientists discover giant fossil frog from hell
3. Advertisers, neuroscientists trace source of emotions in brain
4. Amazon corridors far too narrow, warn scientists
5. Dung happens and helps scientists
6. Priming scientists for successful media interviews
7. Scientists expand understanding of how river carbon impacts the Arctic Ocean
8. Fishermen and UCSB scientists explore ways to improve management of California spiny lobsters
9. Scientists rebuild ancient proteins to reveal primordial Earths temperature
10. Rice scientists make breakthrough in single-molecule sensing
11. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop fluorescent proteins for live cell imaging, biosensor design
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Yale scientists create artificial 'cells' that boost the immune response to cancer
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 th ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015.   ... the first combined scanner in the world which scans both ... two different scanners were required: one for passports and one ... same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for electronic ...
(Date:11/16/2015)... , Nov 16, 2015  Synaptics Inc. ... human interface solutions, today announced expansion of its ... ™ touch controller and display driver integration ... of smartphones. These new TDDI products add to ... (HD resolution), TD4302 (WQHD resolution), and TD4322 (FHD ...
(Date:11/11/2015)... MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology company that ... announce that it will be a Sponsor of the ... held November 17-19 in Hamburg , Germany.  ... iMedNet , MedNet,s easy-to-use, proven and affordable eClinical ... able to deliver time and cost savings of up to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS; ... and prospects remain fundamentally strong and highlights the ... recently received DSMB recommendation to continue the ZoptEC ... of the final interim efficacy and safety data ... in men with heavily pretreated castration- and Taxane-resistant ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) holds the third-largest share ... The trend of outsourcing to low-cost locations is ... volume share for the region in the short ... in the CRO industry will improve. ... ), finds that the market earned revenues ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Copper ... unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic to cells. With ... Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of copper in the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP and AdVenture ... develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in their schools. ... to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip to Super ...
Breaking Biology Technology: