B6 -

Dynamics of ligands and forces in T cell activation

Principal Investigators: 

Mechanosensing influences ligand recognition, activation and killing mechanisms of T cells. In this project we develop synthetic tools to explore the interplay between mechanical and biochemical interactions at the Antigen Presenting Cell (APC) /T cell interface, and to mimic the dynamics of forces and individual receptor complexes operating at the immunological synapse. Using synthetic hydrogels and micropatterning techniques we engineer minimalistic models of the APC surface with defined ligand types, spatial organization and mechanical engagement. As a unique feature, we use light-driven molecular motors to modulate cytoskeletal/membrane engagement dynamically and in situ, with the possibility to measure the applied forces at molecular level. We study early markers of T cell activation in response to the combinations of ligands and mechanical force.













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