Linking form to function: Biophysical aspects of artificial antigen presenting cell design

Karlo Perica, Alyssa K. Kosmides, Jonathan P. Schneck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPCs) are engineered platforms for T cell activation and expansion, synthesized by coupling T cell activating proteins to the surface of cell lines or biocompatible particles. They can serve both as model systems to study the basic aspects of T cell signaling and translationally as novel approaches for either active or adoptive immunotherapy. Historically, these reductionist systems have not been designed to mimic the temporally and spatially complex interactions observed during endogenous T cell-APC contact, which include receptor organization at both micro- and nanoscales and dynamic changes in cell and membrane morphologies. Here, we review how particle size and shape, as well as heterogenous distribution of T cell activating proteins on the particle surface, are critical aspects of aAPC design. In doing so, we demonstrate how insights derived from endogenous T cell activation can be applied to optimize aAPC, and in turn how aAPC platforms can be used to better understand endogenous T cell stimulation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nanoscale membrane organisation and signalling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-790
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Artificial antigen presenting cell
  • Immunotherapy
  • Microparticle
  • Microscale interaction
  • Nanoscale interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Linking form to function: Biophysical aspects of artificial antigen presenting cell design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this