The Phenotypic Response of Dendritic Cells to Gold Nanoparticles Treatments

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Dasgupta, Ayan
Babensee, Julia
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Immunotherapy research has been increasingly investigating the potential of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). AuNPs pose new benefits in the medical field ranging from diagnostics to diseases treatment. AuNPs’ ability to infiltrate tissue and target immune cells makes their potential highly useful for new proposed personalized immunotherapies[1] regarding antigen specific targeting delivery, tracking capabilities in vivo [2][3], and more effective and direct vaccines [8]. AuNPs act as an adjuvant with the ability to elicit immuno-suppressive or immuno-activated responses depending on the treatment and characterization of the AuNPs. A promising application of AuNPs is their ability to interact with dendritic cells (DCs). DCs are antigen presenting cells (APCs) and play an integral part in both innate and adaptive immune responses. They work by internalizing and presenting antigens on their surface to other immune cells initiating an immunomodulatory response. In previous research, it has been shown that AuNPs engineered with surface molecules can the initiate maturation of immature DCs (iDCs). Depending on the surface molecules, AuNPs can mature iDCs to become either activated or tolerogenic DC phenotypes[1]. These matured DC phenotypes use the AuNP’s surface molecules to then elicit an immune response by presenting the surface molecules to other immune cells in addition to secreting chemokines and cytokines to enhance the immune response. Though AuNPs’ influence on the maturation of iDCs has been increasingly studied, it is still not well understood which is critical in order to develop effective personalized immunotherapies. In this study, the relationship between DC phenotypes and AuNP properties is analyzed in order to optimize the methods used to elicit specific immune responses. iDCs will be cultured and treated with AuNPs with various surface modifications which will then be analyzed to determine the phenotypic character of the cultured DCs. The cultured DCs are analyzed using high-throughput screening and flow cytometry to determine the surface molecules that have developed from the AuNP treatment which will determine which phenotype of the matured iDCs. This analysis will establish a relationship between various AuNP treatments and the resulting phenotypic development of DCs. This research will work towards standardizing maturation methods of DCs in vivo in order to control a patient’s immune system and its responses to fight off diseases and arm immune cells.
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Undergraduate Thesis
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