UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Paper on culture device for T cell activation out now

8 October 2020

T cell activation

A new research article on “A Hydrogel-Integrated Culture Device to Interrogate T Cell Activation with Physicochemical Cues” has just been published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. The paper was written by our recent PhD graduate and now PostDoc Matthew Chin, in collaboration with CNIE Director Prof. Marc-Olivier Coppens, Prof. Richard Day (UCL), Dr. Eileen Gentleman (KCL) and Michael Norman (KCL).

T cell activation is a key step in the coordination of adaptive immune responses. In T cell-based cancer immunotherapy, the activation process is recapitulated by stimulating the cells with antibody-coated biomaterials for ex vivo expansion. Although biochemical stimuli and pathways that regulate activation have been widely studied, the contribution of mechanical factors is less well understood. By presenting T cells to antibody-coated hydrogel surfaces in a custom-made culture device, we showed that substrate stiffness can be used to balance the stimulatory strength and cell proliferation. The findings highlight the importance of mechanics in the design of T cell activating biomaterials. You can read the full article here.