Developing a new adoptive T cell immunotherapy with AIM’s organ-on-a-chip

This month’s theme: exploring studies to develop T cell immunotherapy, powered by AIM Biotech

AIM Biotech’s organ-on-a-chip is a useful tool for preclinical studies. During this month, we’ll showcase how research powered by AIM Biotech’s organ-on-a-chip contributed to the development of an adoptive T cell immunotherapy. This technique takes advantage of the body’s own immune system, effectively “tricking” it into attacking cancer cells. In this way, the T cells that are normally responsible for dealing with foreign proteins from outside the body are instead engineered to attack cancer cells.

Pavesi and coll used AIM Biotech organs-on-a-chip to study different tumor microenvironment conditions, and found that the migration of T cells to the tumors depends on oxygen concentration.

Later, Lee and coll used a similar technology to study the implication of monocytes on the migration of T cells to a hepatic tumor. They showed that differentially engineered T cells (modified with retroviral transduction or mRNA electroporated) migrate differentially to the tumors on the chip.

Also, Otano and coll used AIM organs-on-a-chip to show that the knockdown of a specific protein that is involved in the change of T cells, called PD-1, ameliorates the functioning of T cell therapy—but only during the early stage of the treatment.


Later, T cells lose the capability of killing tumor cells. Preece and coll discovered that if they used CRISPR to engineer T cells to eliminate PD-1 expression, these T cells could effectively kill tumor cells for a longer period.

Hafezi and coll proved on 3D tumors how the presence of immunosuppressive drugs affects the migration of T cells to the tumors; and last but not least, Healy and coll showed how a different type of T cell— MAIT cells abundant in the liver—ameliorates the therapy on cancer patients compared with conventional T cells.

Taken together, this series of studies showcases how AIM Biotech’s organ-on-a-chip is a reliable, easy-to-use technology that improves the timing and quality of preclinical studies.

Stay tuned for the following posts to learn about these fascinating studies in more detail!