Submitted by Matthias Oberli, Diviya Sinha, and Jeffrey Wyckoff of the Langer and Blankschtein Laboratories (Koch Institute and the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT)
This is a picture of the epidermis layer of a mouse skin. In grey you can see the collagen network of the epidermis, and in green appear the skin’s immune cells, or Langerhans Cells, which are professional antigen presenting immune cells. They are the body’s first line of defense, and their typical dendritic shape is captured excellently in this picture.
We are working on a low-frequency ultrasound assisted cutaneous vaccination method, which is non-invasive, pain-free, and allows for the generation of a stronger immune response than invasive syringe and needle based vaccinations. This will allow us to develop immune therapies against cancer and possibly improved vaccinations against viral diseases such as HIV.