About this Research Topic
ImmunoPhysics (ImmPhys) and ImmunoEngineering (ImmPhysEng), are two cross-disciplinary fields. ImmPhysEng aims to unravel quantitatively the immune-system function and regulation in health and disease. Whereas ImmPhys study and assess the physical basis of the immune response, ImmEng pursues its control and prediction. Ultimately, the overarching goal of these disciplines is to facilitate the development of therapeutic interventions to more precisely modulate and control the compromised immune response during diseases. Lately, these disciplines are becoming more popular and as such, the number of publications applying physical or engineering tools to understand the immune response is increasing. Nevertheless, there is still no scientific forum compiling the ImmPhysEng research breakthroughs. Possibly the biggest burden is to stimulate a fluent communication and syntony between a physicist or engineer and an immunologist.
This Research Topic in ImmunoPhysics and Engineering aims at fulfilling the cross-disciplinary gap, increase its awareness, and maximise its dissemination. For this purpose, this special topic wants to convey a broad and interdisciplinary forum among researchers presenting the latest ImmPhysEng observations with biomedical implications in vivo - from immortalised or primary cell lines to multicellular systems-; in vitro - from cellular approaches to engineered model systems; and in silico - from mesoscale and coarse-grained to atomistic simulations. We are eager to include steady and non-equilibrium spectroscopic approaches, and advanced -static or -dynamic quantitative microscopy techniques conventional, super- or ultra-resolved in space and time.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
Immunophysics. Application of biophysical tools, including advanced light microscopy, and electron microscopy methods to better understand the molecular mechanisms of immuno-biological processes. For instance, the molecular mechanisms involved in the adhesion, polarisation, and migration of lymphocytes at (and through) the endothelium, as well as the chemokine- and cytokine mediated activation, during the immune and inflammatory response.
Immunophysics. Application of biophysical tools and quantitative approaches to resolve live dynamic immune related events, including in silico simulations and mathematical modelling of immune interactions. For instance, chemokine-mediated dynamic interactions of lymphocytes with endothelial cells during leucocyte extravasation; studies on the cognate interaction between antigen presenting cells and naïve T cells. These immune responses, involve a completely plastic cytokine-triggered change of the cell morphology, spanning from highly dynamic, very sophisticated and complex reorganization of receptor kinases and phosphatases at the plasma membrane, to full cytoskeletal reassembly.
Mechano- and Chemo-Immunosensing. Application of biophysical tools involving cellular force measurements or sensing to understand the correlation between the highly coordinated forces exerted by cells with their chemical sensing and activation process and synapse; and to reveal the complex structures required in lymphocyte adhesion, polarization and migration.
Immunoengineering. Application of systems immunology to engineering the tumour immunological microenvironment, aiming at predicting lymphocyte receptor’s recognition patterns. Building sophisticated mimetic in vitro models, for instance by means of optical and magnetic tweezers to develop novel immuno-oncotherapeutics paving the way towards personalized and predictive medicine.
Keywords: Physical Immunology, Systems Immunology, Engineer Immunology, Mechano- and Chemo-Immunosensing