Multifunctional Microparticles with Stimulation and Sensing Capabilities for Facile NK Cell Activity Assay
- Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of innate lymphoid cells playing an important role in immune surveillance and early defense against infection and cancer. They recognize and directly kill infected or transformed cells. At the same time, they produce various cytokines and chemokines to regulate other immune cells. NK cell activity can be a useful marker for health screenings because impaired NK cell functions may indicate a more susceptible environment for infection or tumor development. Currently, most NK cell activity assays are focused on measuring either cytokine secretion, in particular, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma), or cytotoxicity against target cells such as K562, thus only providing partial information on NK cell activity. In order to develop a comprehensive test for measuring NK cell function, cytotoxicity and cytokine secretion ability should be measured simultaneously. In addition, current NK cell assays are performed by stimulating NK cells with cocktails of cytokines, antibody-coated beads, or live target cells. In this study, we developed multifunctional microparticles for NK cell activity assay (MNAs) that allow simultaneous stimulation and sensing various NK cell activities, including cytokine secretion and cytotoxicity. The surfaces of MNAs are decorated with multiple functional biomolecules, including antibodies that stimulate NK cells by engaging NK cell activating receptors, antibodies that can capture cytokines secreted by NK cells, and a peptide sensor that reacts with granzyme B, a key molecule released by NK cells for cytotoxicity. The performances of MNAs are assessed using flow cytometry and live cell imaging. NK cell activity is measured by simply mixing MNAs with NK cells and performing flow cytometry, and the results are comparable to those measured by standard NK cell activity assays.
- 박지훈; 신예린; 김정민; 권순호; 송아영; 백유진; 김진호; 조덕; 김헌식; 도준상
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- NK cell; Activity assay; Multifunctional microbead
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