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Autoimmune diseases and in particular type 1 diabetes rely heavily on treatments that target the symptoms rather than prevent the underlying disease. One of the barriers to better therapeutic strategies is the inability to detect and efficiently target rare autoreactive T-cell populations that are major drivers of these conditions. Here, we develop a unique artificial antigen-presenting cell (aAPC) system from biocompatible polymer particles that allows specific encapsulation of bioactive ingredients. Using our aAPC, we demonstrate that we are able to detect rare autoreactive CD4 populations in human patients, and using mouse models, we demonstrate that our particles are able to induce desensitization in the autoreactive population. This system provides a promising tool that can be used in the prevention of autoimmunity before disease onset.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





4376 - 4382


Layer-by-layer particles, Type 1 diabetes, artificial antigen presenting cells, auto reactive T-cells, Animals, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Autoimmunity, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Humans, Mice, T-Lymphocytes