Masters of Disguise: Stealthy Spheres and Clever Camouflage

Look

colorful alginate spheres

This image, submitted by Andrew Bader and Omid Veiseh of the Anderson/Langer Lab at the Koch Institute, shows sugar polymer spheres being attacked by immune cells.

Read

colorful alginate spheres

Andrew Bader, Omid Veiseh, Arturo Vegas
Anderson/Langer Laboratory, Koch Institute at MIT

What’s wrong with this picture? The sugar polymers that make up the spheres in this image are designed to package and protect specially engineered cells that work to produce drugs and fight disease. While on-site, they must remain undetected by the body’s natural defense system. However, the reddish markers on the spheres’ surfaces indicate that immune cells (blue/green) have discovered these invaders and begun to block them off from the rest of the body. Further experiments with the spheres’ geometry and chemistry will lead to better invisibility cloaking and longer lasting protection for these cell-based factories.

Watch

Andrew Bader, Omid Veiseh, and Arturo Vegas shares the story behind "Masters of Disguise."

Also available: Andrew Bader's presentation from the exhibtion's opening event on March 10, 2015 and the teaser video on the Koch Institute's Facebook page.