Several immune regulatory pathways naturally evolved to promote tolerance to self-antigens and other foreign beneficial antigens we encounter such as commensal microbes, food, reproduction. However, the pressures of convergent evolution mean detrimental invaders such as tumors or pathogenic microbes have learned how to co-opt these pathways to evade immunity and establish persistence. For example, activation of self-antigen specific T cells that escape deletion during thymic development is regulated by active suppression by immune suppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) and engagement of cell-surface inhibitory receptors such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1).

These studies, in addition to many others provides supporting evidence to begin broadening the focus of vaccination strategies beyond targeting humoral immunity to also promote expansion and retention of memory T cells. To generate these recombinant vaccines however requires identification of antigenic targets to promote an optimal T cell response with the breadth to recognize and clear potentially rapidly mutating pathogens.

While, in vivo murine and non-human primate models are important for testing vaccine efficacy in vivo, 3D culture with human target cells represents an important model for testing these vaccine strategies to determine optimal antigen selection and understand how immune cells within these tissues will respond to infection with or without vaccination. Furthermore, improved vaccination strategies can be developed through a better understanding of additional factors that may be present within the infected tissue (e.g. metabolism, cell-surface inhibitory receptors).

Vaccines remain an important aspect to prevention and treatment of disease. Cancer vaccines utilize cancer-specific antigens to stimulate an immune response to seek and destroy the cancerous cells. IMMUNE 3D®  provides the stringent matrix to fully understand the true effect of a vaccine response in relation to lymphocyte migration and infiltration in response to antigen presentation/upregulation.