Mimetic lymph nodes for immune cell culture

Posted by Alfonso from ICMAB-CSICResponsive · Patents for licensing · Spain

Summary of the technology

We have developed a new 3D scaffold that mimics the lymph nodes for the proliferation and differentation of immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, ready for immunotherapy applications.


Description of the technology

Immunotherapy offers a different approach than standard surgery, radiation and chemotherapy procedures against cancer. It is based on employing and reinforcing the immune system of patients, surpassing cancer immunosuppression methods, detecting and eliminating malignant cells without damaging healthy tissues.

Adoptive cell therapy (ACT), a type of personalized immunotherapy that has achieved complete remissions of advanced cancer patients, requires large expansions of immune cells, in order to have relevant quantities of therapeutic cells to be used as “alive drugs”. The implementation of these therapies to the clinics is limited by the current cell expansion methods.

Our mimetic lymph nodes, which are based on a 3D scaffold made of a loadable PEG heparin Hydrogel with immune-relevant molecules, provide higher cell proliferation rates and capacity to tune the obtained phenotypes than the gold standard.


  • Higher cell proliferation rates
  • Tunable phenotype proportions
  • Different combinations of immune molecules available to customize cell differentation

Current development status

Laboratory prototypes



Desired business relationship

Patent licensing

Technology development

Intellectual property status

Patent already applied for

Technology Owner


Research Institute

Additional information (attached documents)

Related keywords

  • Biological Sciences
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
  • Stem cell Technologies
  • Biology / Biotechnology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Technology
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Market
  • Anatomy, Pathology, Immunology, Physiology


Research Institute from Spain

The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona​ (ICMAB) is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence research center which beongs to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and is governed by a Foundation board.

The Institute was set up in 1987 and subsequently, in April 1991, the laboratories were opened at the Campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). It is part of the Barcelona Nanotechnology Cluster in Bellaterra.

The aim of the institute is to carry out research aimed at obtaining and characterising materials of industrial interest. Its activities are based on the synthesis, preparation, crystallization and characterisation of functional high-performance materials and nanomaterials, which in some cases have led to the construction of device prototypes based on these materials.

Studies and improvements both of conventional materials, as well as new molecular, supramolecular, magnetic, superconducting and porous materials etc. are being developed through projects and research contracts. There are currently 9 ERC funded projects at ICMAB.

To develop these activities, at present there are 57 permanent staff among researchers and back up personnel together with 80 non-permanent staff divided into eight researgh groups, one general unit service, and one unit of Scientific and Technological Services.

In 2016 the ICMAB reached the 100.000 citations, and it is currently the first centre, among the CSIC centres, in the Nature Index. Each permanent researcher publishes close to 5 articles per year in Journals with a very high impact factor.

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