Columbia University

Technology Ventures

A polymeric mesh for safer expansion of transplantable human T cells

Technology #cu16301

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Lance Kam
Managed By
Richard Nguyen

This technology is an antibody-coated polymeric mesh that can be used to select for and expand human T cells for safer immunotherapy.

Unmet Need: Method of expanding T cells without contamination by harmful residual substrates

Current methods for activation and expansion of T cells for immunotherapy rely on antibody-coated microbeads that are difficult to separate from the activated T cells before they are returned to the patient. Furthermore, the rigidity of the microbeads prevents robust T cell expansion, as softer materials have been demonstrated to increase T cell proliferation. As such, there is a need for a method that efficiently activates and expands T cells without risk of contamination by residual substrate.

The Technology: Mesh-based platform for safer and enhanced ex vivo T cell expansion

This technology is a polymeric mesh designed for the ex vivo activation and proliferation of T cells. The mesh substrate, comprised of a blend of soft polymers, is coated with a layer of antibodies capable of specifically activating T cells. Isolated T cells are stimulated on the antibody-coated mesh, removed for further culturing and proliferation, and then reintroduced into the patient. Compared with rigid microbeads, this technology employs a flexible activating substrate that promotes greater cell expansion and reduces the risk of introducing substrate residues into the patient. Taken together, this technology provides a robust method of T cell expansion for safe and efficient immunotherapy.

This technology has been validated using cells harvested from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.


  • T cell expansion for cancer immunotherapy
  • T cell expansion for immunotherapy-based treatment of chronic illnesses
  • Expansion and activation of T cells for research use
  • Expansion and activation of other immune cell types


  • Reduced risk of residual activating substrate in the final cell product
  • Enhanced proliferation of T cells compared to bead-based platforms
  • Increased mechanosensing of T cells due to flexibility of polymeric mesh
  • Cells can be isolated from the activating substrate without magnetic separation

Lead Inventor:

Lance Kam, Ph.D.

Patent Information:

Patent Pending

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