An Institut Pasteur team has developed a microfluidic system to observe individual immune cells and model their interactions with tumors.
In a paper published in Nature Communications, Institut Pasteur scientists introduced a new method for modeling cancer immunotherapy. This approach seeks to model cancer immunotherapy in vitro using an innovative microfluidic system. The scientists successfully monitored the behavior of individual immune cells and were thus able to describe their interactions with tumor models.
In this study conducted in partnership with the Institut Polytechnique de Paris and Inserm, the scientists created a 3D cancer cell culture which replicates tumor structure more effectively than traditional cultures. They then introduced cytotoxic T cells in proximity to the cancer cells and monitored their behavior by microscopy. This allowed them to analyze interactions between the two cell populations and perform unique, accurate measurements of cell positions and the spatiotemporal process of immune response.
These observations firstly demonstrate that T cells accumulate around the micro-tumors before attacking them, which may lead to tumor cell killing. Data were then compared to stochastic mathematical models used to examine random processes. This revealed collaborative phenomena among T cells required for a successful attack both at long and short distance.
This microfluidic system developed with the support of the Institut Pasteur Biomaterials and Microfluidics Platform could one day be used to perform personalized diagnostics by directly incorporating patients' cells to help predict their immune response.
This study is part of the Cancer Initiative of the Institut Pasteur's strategic plan for 2019-2023.
High resolution microfluidic assay and probabilistic modeling reveal cooperation between T cells in tumor killing, Nature Communications, June 3, 2022
Gustave Ronteix1,2, Shreyansh Jain1,2, Christelle Angely1,2, Marine Cazaux3, Roxana Khazen3, Philippe Bousso3, Charles N. Baroud1,2
1 - Physical Microfluidics and Bioengineering, Institut Pasteur, 25–28 Rue du Dr. Roux, Paris, France.
2 - LadHyX, CNRS, École Polytechnique, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, 91120 Palaiseau, France.
3 - Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit, Equipe Labellisée Ligue Contre le Cancer, Institut Pasteur, Université de Paris, INSERM U1223, 75015 Paris, France.