Scientists build artificial immune system

Scientists in Japan have created a key component of an artificial immune system that they say functions as well as the body's natural defences against infection. In animal tests, the scientists were able to create an artificial lymph node that hosted disease-fighting cells, they report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The discovery might one day offer a means of repairing damaged or weakened immune systems in humans, said the researchers, who are based at the RIKEN Yokohama Institute. A variety of life-threatening conditions, most notably AIDS, involve problems with the immune system.

The researchers implanted a minute biological 'scaffold' into the kidneys, which the body then adopted as if it were a normal lymph node. The scaffold hosted disease-detecting T cells and antibody-producing B cells, which spread through the body. When these cells encountered invading viruses they manufactured antibodies that were similar to those produced by the body's natural immune system.

The artificial immune system appeared to be self sustaining, retaining a memory of previous infectious attacks at least one month after they occurred, the scientists reported.

Read more technical details at the Journal of Clinical Investigation

very interesting

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