A wish-list for modeling immunological synapses
The immunological synapse concept has been useful in the study of a number of disease states and therapeutic modalities. Two of these are autoimmunity and cancer immunotherapy. The excitement in cancer immunology is largely driven by biologics that target and modulate the immunological synapse between T cells and cancer cells or lead to formation of synthetic synapses based on T cell engineering. Different model systems have been utilized to study the formation of immunological synapses and kinapses. In vivo microscopy studies dramatically changed the models for how immune cells searched for their targets. Coupling cell surface signaling with signals conveyed through extracellular vesicles and cytokines will lead to integration of these inputs in transcriptional networks. Supported lipid bilayers (SLB) are a complex substrate system and are somewhat cumbersome for high throughput analysis, but there is no doubt that robotics will be able to increase the throughput of these systems beyond the current practice.