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ResearchslashSRA 02

Project 2.1.1: Nanotechnology for Stimulating, Sampling, and Monitoring Immunity

The immune system plays a critical role in the health of the warfighter, by protecting troops from regional diseases (e.g., malaria) and combating opportunistic local or systemic infections that are a constant threat accompanying trauma. However, we are currently limited in our ability to bolster the immune system for enhanced protection, or to monitor the function of the immune system in the steady state or during ongoing infection. We propose here to develop technologies addressing these challenges together, with the synergistic goals of providing enhanced diagnostic methods for sampling and analyzing the function of the immune system that provide greater insight into the status of the soldier's immune system than any assays currently available. These objectives will be met through the development of (i) novel microneedle patch biopsy approaches to sample local immune cells from local tissue sites, and (ii) single-cell nanowell "microengraving" technology to analyze in detail the functional status of recovered live immune cells. Building on promising results and collaborations with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) developed during ISN-2, we will develop these technologies with malaria vaccination as a disease test bed with great relevance for the army. These studies will provide new methods to both promote protective immune responses in the warfighter and monitor those responses in the clinic or in the field.

Project 2.1.1 Researchers

Prof. Darrell Irvine, Departments of Materials Science and Engineering & Biological Engineering
Prof. Paula Hammond, Department of Chemical Engineering
Prof. J. Christopher Love, Department of Chemical Engineering

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