Engineering Platforms for T Cell Modulation

John W. Hickey, Alyssa K. Kosmides, Jonathan P Schneck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


T cells are crucial contributors to mounting an effective immune response and increasingly the focus of therapeutic interventions in cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmunity. Translation of current T cell immunotherapies has been hindered by off-target toxicities, limited efficacy, biological variability, and high costs. As T cell therapeutics continue to develop, the application of engineering concepts to control their delivery and presentation will be critical for their success. Here, we outline the engineer's toolbox and contextualize it with the biology of T cells. We focus on the design principles of T cell modulation platforms regarding size, shape, material, and ligand choice. Furthermore, we review how application of these design principles has already impacted T cell immunotherapies and our understanding of T cell biology. Recent, salient examples from protein engineering, synthetic particles, cellular and genetic engineering, and scaffolds and surfaces are provided to reinforce the importance of design considerations. Our aim is to provide a guide for immunologists, engineers, clinicians, and the pharmaceutical sector for the design of T cell–targeting platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Artificial antigen-presenting cells
  • Cell engineering
  • Combination immunotherapies
  • Immunoengineering
  • Immunotherapy
  • Particles
  • Protein engineering
  • Scaffolds
  • T cell
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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