Surface engineering for lymphocyte programming
The once nascent field of immunoengineering has recently blossomed to include approaches to deliver and present biomolecules to program diverse populations of lymphocytes to fight disease. Building upon improved understanding of the molecular and physical mechanics of lymphocyte activation, varied strategies for engineering surfaces to activate and deactivate T-Cells, B-Cells and natural killer cells are in preclinical and clinical development. Surfaces have been engineered at the molecular level in terms of the presence of specific biological factors, their arrangement on a surface, and their diffusivity to elicit specific lymphocyte fates. In addition, the physical and mechanical characteristics of the surface including shape, anisotropy, and rigidity of particles for lymphocyte activation have been fine-tuned. Utilizing these strategies, acellular systems have been engineered for the expansion of T-Cells and natural killer cells to clinically relevant levels for cancer therapies as well as engineered to program B-Cells to better combat infectious diseases.