Feature Articles

Bioactive Mater (2022) Dendritic cell-mimicking scaffolds for ex vivo T cell expansion

Author :
Kim HS, Ho TC, ..., Kim HW, Leong KW* (2022-09-13)
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Dendritic cell-mimicking scaffolds for ex vivo T cell expansion, Bioactive Materials

Dendritic cell-mimicking scaffolds for ex vivo T cell expansion - ScienceDirect

We propose an ex vivo T cell expansion system that mimics natural antigen-presenting cells (APCs) for adoptive cell therapy (ACT). Microfiber scaffolds coated with dendritic cell (DC) membrane replicate physicochemical properties of dendritic cells specific for T cell activation such as rapid recognition by T cells, long duration of T cell tethering, and DC-specific co-stimulatory cues. The DC membrane-coated scaffold is first surface-immobilized with T cell stimulatory ligands, anti-CD3 (αCD3) and anti-CD28 (αCD28) antibodies, followed by adsorption of releasable interleukin-2 (IL-2). The scaffolds present both surface and soluble cues to T cells ex vivo in the same way that these cues are presented by natural APCs in vivo. We demonstrate that the DC-mimicking scaffold promotes greater polyclonal expansion of primary human T cells as compared to αCD3/αCD28-functionalized Dynabead. More importantly, major histocompatibility complex molecules derived from the DC membrane of the scaffold allow antigen-specific T cell expansion with target cell-specific killing ability. In addition, most of the expanded T cells (∼97%) can be harvested from the scaffold by density gradient centrifugation. Overall, the DC-mimicking scaffold offers a scalable, modular, and customizable platform for rapid expansion of highly functional T cells for ACT.