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Red Blood Cells Harnessed as Nanoparticle Carriers for Vaccines

Researchers led by a team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have harnessed an innate immune function of red blood cells to build a platform technology that uses erythrocytes to deliver antigens to immune system antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in the spleen, generating an immune response. Initial experiments showed that the technology, which they’ve called erythrocyte-driven immune targeting (EDIT), successfully slowed the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. The team suggests that the nanoparticle-carrying red blood cells could be used as a biocompatible adjuvant for a variety of vaccines.

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