New hydrogel enables large-scale proliferation of T cells

 

Spanish researchers have recently designed a new type of hydrogel (hydrogel) that can cultivate T lymphocytes. These hydrogels can mimic lymph nodes and allow T cells to expand, thus bringing a high cell proliferation rate. This result was published in the online edition of Biomaterials.

 

There have been many new developments in the field of immunotherapy in recent years, such as the transformation of T cells for adoptive cell therapy. These results are expected to introduce more effective anti-cancer strategies, but there are also many limitations. For example, T cells are still challenging in manufacturing and manipulation, that is, it is difficult for people to produce a large number of therapeutic T cells in a short time.

 

Spanish researchers have recently designed a new type of hydrogel that can culture T lymphocytes on a large scale. These hydrogels can mimic lymph nodes and allow T cells to expand, thus bringing a high cell proliferation rate. This result was published in the online edition of Biomaterials.

 

Researchers have submitted a patent application to the European Patent Office, hoping to introduce this new technology to hospitals as soon as possible. They also launched a project to print these new hydrogels in 3D to quickly bring them to the market.

 

The principle of cancer immunotherapy is to utilize and strengthen the patient’s immune system so that it can recognize and fight tumor cells without damaging healthy tissues. Adoptive cell therapy is to extract T cells from patients, modify them to make them more active, and then inject them into patients after expansion.

 

Judith Guasch of the Institute of Materials Science in Barcelona believes: “Although this personalized therapy is very novel, its effect seems to be longer than current tumor therapies. However, its application is limited by cell culture media because people cannot A certain amount of therapeutic T cells are produced inside.”

 

The 3D hydrogel in this study is made of polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is widely used in biomedicine, and heparin, an anticoagulant. Among them, polyethylene glycol provides the structure and mechanical properties necessary for T cell growth, while heparin is used to anchor different biomolecules, such as the cytokine MCP2 (PRP1020), which are involved in allergic responses, monocytes, and T cells and NK cells which are involved in the inflammatory response.

 

Compared with other expansion systems, the 3D structure of the hydrogel and its carrying capacity can promote the proliferation of primary CD4 T cells. Therefore, the researchers believe that this new tool can be used for adoptive cell therapy, which generates a large number of T cells by simulating lymph nodes to achieve targeted therapy of cancer cells.

 

In order to bring this technology to the market, researchers from the Institute of Materials Science in Barcelona and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia recently applied for a project whose purpose is to print a large-scale 3D hydrogel compatible with clinical bioreactors in order to A more effective way to expand T cells.

 

Researchers will develop prototypes in the laboratory and carry out the first batch of experiments for clinical verification. They are looking for partners in biomedical and pharmaceutical companies, and intend to create a branch to transfer this technology, hoping to introduce it to hospitals as soon as possible.

 

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