Investigation of the Cytokine and Chemokine Response of Dendritic Cells Following Gold Nanoparticle Treatments and Variations in Hydrogels
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Immunotherapies have significant potential for implementation towards personalized medicine through avenues such as vaccine, gene, and cancer applications. Dendritic cells are a major contributor in the immune system, functioning as antigen-presenting cells that aid in orchestrating the immune response towards pathogenic activators. Manipulation of these cells can allow for the optimization of immune responses, which can be achieved through tissue engineering and modulation via gold nanoparticles. This study seeks to provide a basis for elucidating the secretory responses of immature dendritic cells as they progress through maturation following treatment with modified gold nanoparticles. Additionally, findings are presented on the manipulation of dendritic cells with a variety of treatments such as PEGylation and thiolation to understand resulting effects on IL-10 expression. Biomaterial-based matrices are additionally investigated for their roles in dendritic cell viability and functionality – results of variation in weight percentage of hydrogels, used for dendritic cell encapsulation, will be shown. With some notable exceptions, such as IL-4, the majority of cytokine and chemokine expressions in experimental cell groups compared to baseline immature dendritic cell expression levels decreased. Future studies should continue to characterize and solidify this response, both with regard to modulation in hydrogels and gold nanoparticles. These studies can aid in paving the way for individualized treatment for autoimmune disorders.