BioE Seminar: Bioengineered Immune Cell Signalling; Talking to T cells

Seminar | January 9 | 10:30-11:30 a.m. | 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Derfogail Delcassian, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT; Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies, University of Nottingham

 Bioengineering (BioE)

T cells are a central component of the immune system, and can display activated and/or suppressive phenotypes. Controlling T cell behaviour, and balancing these phenotypes, is key to controlling immune responses in a wide range of diseases; including cancer, wound healing, and organ rejection. In this talk, we show the development of bioengineered interfaces that can be used to communicate with T cells and help to re-direct T cell function towards activated or suppressive phenotypes to treat diseases. We will highlight three examples across the nano, micro and macro length-scale that showcase the use of immunoengineering to control cell fate in these diseases. First, we describe the development of nanopatterned ligand arrays that can be used to engage with receptors on the surface of immune cells, and show that by fine-tuning the precise inter-ligand spacing from between 20nm to 200nm cellular activity can be controlled. Next, we highlight the link between nano-spacing and micro-scale mechanosensing in T cell activation. Finally, we show lipid nanoparticle systems which can deliver nucleic acids to immune cells- enabling genetically engineered immune responses to boost cancer therapy. These interfaces allow us to “talk to T cells” and deliver instructions to immune cells.

 esabolch@berkeley.edu, 510-666-3362