Cool Tool – Kits to Simplify and Standardize Your Immune Cell Cultures

By on December 12, 2016

Cells of the immune system, including macrophages, dendritic cells, B cells, T cells, and NK cells are actively being used for many research and therapeutic applications. Cell therapy, immunotherapy, and drug discovery are just a few areas where the culture, expansion, and differentiation of these immune cells is especially utilized. However, this culturing process is not trivial. Maintaining, differentiating, and expanding immune cells can be difficult. In addition, many scientists use immune cells in their cross-disciplinary research. While these scientists are experts in their area of research, they are often not experts in culturing immune cells, in particular, the methods used to differentiate and expand them in culture.

One challenging, but addressable, aspect of culturing immune cells is the lack of standardized protocols for their differentiation and expansion. Most labs rely on literature searches to craft protocols, but are often faced with conflicting advice. These variations in cell culture expansion and differentiation can cause unreliable results. The variations are frequently attributed to the cytokines used and the timing for adding differentiating agents. Inconsistencies can impact researchers’ ability to accurately interpret the data within their own experiments and can make replicating the experiment impossible for others. This variability can also negatively impact the use of these cells in cell therapy applications.

cellxvivo-productIn an effort to promote a more convenient and consistent method for differentiation and expansion of immune cells, R&D Systems, a Bio-Techne brand, has launched their line of CellXVivo™ Immune Cell Differentiation Kits. These kits include optimized cytokine combinations and protocols for the differentiation and expansion of human dendritic cells, macrophages, T helper cell subtypes, regulatory T cells, and B cells. Kits for the differentiation of mouse immune cells are also available.

I was able to speak with Scott Schachtele, PhD, a Product Manager at R&D Systems, about why they feel the CellXVivo kits are an important product offering. Scott said, “By providing CellXVivo kits, R&D Systems is hoping to make immunotherapy research more accessible. With the use of a kit and access to human peripheral blood monocytes or mouse splenocytes, any lab has the ability to generate immune cells for immunotherapy or cell therapy research. These kits are designed to generate functional populations of immune cells that can be used to interrogate receptors, ligands, and pathways involved in immune cell activation and suppression. This makes the very promising area of immunotherapy research possible in more labs worldwide.”

I also asked Scott why simplified and standardized immune cell generation is so critical. He said, “Inflammatory processes are involved in a number of research disciplines, including Neuroscience (neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation), Cardiology (cardiovascular disease), and Stem Cell Research (immunomodulation). Having access to specific immune cell populations or the time and knowledge of how to generate them is a limiting factor to promoting cross-disciplinary studies. The CellXVivo kits break down this barrier by providing optimized reagents and protocols for the easy generation of immune cells that can be used in neuroscience, stem cell research, cardiovascular research and more.”

Figure 1: Simple protocols using the CellXVivo™ Immune Cell Differentiation and Expansion Kits. This example is from the CellXVivo™ Human Monocyte-derived Dendritic Cell Differentiation Kit.

Key Benefits of the CellXVivo™ Immune Cell Differentiation Kits:

  • Protein and antibody combinations included in the kits are optimized for efficient immune cell differentiation.
  • Cost effective and time-saving solution.
  • Kits include high-quality proteins and antibodies for consistent and reliable results.
  • Provides a standardized protocol for reproducibility.
  • Kits generate a known number of cells and removes the guess work.
  • Allows for easy scale-up.

For more product information, please visit CellXVivo™ Differentiation and Expansion Kits

To inquire about how these kits might apply to your research, please contact Scott Schachtele, Product Manager at R&D Systems.: Email: scott.schachtele@bio-techne.com

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