Research: Migration of human immune cells
Cell migration is crucial for a large variety of cells in the whole organism. Especially immune cells need to migrate in order to reach a site of infection to fight off invading pathogens or travel to secondary lymphoid tissues, like lymph nodes, to activate other immune cells.
Because migration is so essential for the immune system, we are interested in understanding the regulation of human immune cell migration patterns. For this, we isolate different kinds of immune cells from peripheral blood using a broad variety of purification technologies ranging from simple gradient purification and magnetic separation to multi-parametric fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). We determine cell migration in various environments (with or without collagen- or fibrin-matrixes) in vitro in response to cytokine stimuli and quantify their behaviour using state-of-the-art autotracking software. We hope to gain further insights into changes of migration patterns during disease development and therapy in order to help to find novel treatments for infectious and autoimmune diseases.