John W. HickeyJohn W. Hickey Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Institute for Cell Engineering, School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Institute for NanoBioTechnolog
T cells are critical players in disease; yet, their antigen-specificity has been difficult to identify, as current techniques are limited in terms of sensitivity, throughput, or ease of use. To address these challenges, we increased the throughput and translatability of magnetic nanoparticle-based artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPCs) to enrich and expand (E+E) murine or human antigen-specific T cells. We streamlined enrichment, expansion, and aAPC production processes by enriching CD8+ T cells directly from unpurified immune cells, increasing parallel processing capacity of aAPCs in a 96-well plate format, and designing an adaptive aAPC that enables multiplexed aAPC construction for E+E and detection. We applied these adaptive platforms to process and detect CD8+ T cells specific for rare cancer neoantigens, commensal bacterial cross-reactive epitopes, and human viral and melanoma antigens. These innovations dramatically increase the multiplexing ability and decrease the barrier to adopt for investigating antigen-specific T cell responses.