Research ArticleSKIN

Cell and fluid sampling microneedle patches for monitoring skin-resident immunity

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Nov 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 467, eaar2227
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aar2227

Tissues are the window into the immune system

Immune status and responses are often determined by analyzing circulating cells isolated from the blood. However, many immune processes and diseases depend on tissue-resident immune cells acting in target organs, which would not be reflected in peripheral immune cells. To sample these tissue-resident cells, Mandal et al. designed a microneedle array that can be applied to the skin. These microneedles can be loaded with adjuvants and antigens of interest to draw in responding immune cells. The microneedles are noninvasive and can be used to follow immune responses over time; similar sampling could be done in the future for other tissues. Tools such as these microneedles can help scientists gain a more accurate understanding of immune responses.

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