Today’s Spotlight features an image courtesy of SQZ Biotech, colorized by Christine Daniloff/MIT. As cells pass through the CellSqueeze device at high speed, narrowing microfluidic channels apply a squeeze that opens small, temporary holes in the cells’ membranes. As a result, large molecules — antigens, in the case of this study — can enter before the membrane reseals.
MIT researchers have shown that they can use a microfluidic cell-squeezing device to introduce specific antigens inside the immune system’s B cells, providing a new approach to developing and implementing antigen-presenting cell vaccines.
Such vaccines, created by reprogramming a patient’s own immune cells to fight invaders, hold great promise for treating cancer and other diseases. However, several inefficiencies have limited their translation to the clinic, and only one therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
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