Mechanics of antigen extraction in the B cell synapse

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B cell encounter with antigen displayed on antigen-presenting cells leads to B cell immune synapse formation, internalisation of the antigen, and stimulation of antibody responses. The sensitivity with which B cells detect antigen, and the quality and quantity of antigen that B cells acquire, depend upon mechanical properties of the immune synapse including interfacial tension, the strength of intermolecular bonds, and the compliance of the molecules and membranes that participate in antigen presentation. In this review, we discuss our current understanding of how these various physical parameters influence B cell antigen extraction in the immune synapse and how a more comprehensive understanding of B cell mechanics may promote the development of new approaches to stimulate the production of desired antibodies.

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