Based on the outstanding expertise and rich experience, Creative Biolabs has specially developed a systematic approach of phagocytosis assays. Our phagocytosis assay services are designed to help you analyze the function of specialized immune cells known as macrophages, or evaluate the effect of antibodies and vaccine, or screening TLR ligands, phagocytosis activators and inhibitors.
Introduction of Phagocytosis
Phagocytosis is an important physiological activity of specialized immune cells, often a phagocyte. The phagocytic cells of the immune system include macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells. All the three types of cells have phagocytic functions. The phagocytosis is the first and immediate line of defense against foreign pathogens. Additionally, some phagocytes, including macrophages, also participate in specific immunity, playing a role in the early and advanced stage of it.
The macrophages can recognize and engulf either pathogeny or antigen-antibody complex. In our bodies, the phagocytosis can be activated by attachment to pathogen-associated molecular patterns, which leads to NF-κB activation. Activated phagocytes will then ingeste foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells by engulfing them to form an internal compartment known as a phagosome. In an organism’s immune system, phagocytosis is a principal mechanism used to eliminate pathogens and clear cell debris. In other words, it is crucial in fighting infections, as well as in maintaining healthy tissues.
Fig.1 This computer artwork depicts phagocytosis as a macrophage white blood cell engulfs bacteria (orange).
There are many types of phagocytosis assays. By quantifying the engulfment of one of these substrates by macrophages or other phagocytes, we can get the phagocytic efficiency, and then evaluate the effect of antibodies, vaccine, ligands, and so on. In general, the phagocytosis assay can be divided into two categories, in vivo and in vitro. Both of them are always based on fluorescence. In vivo assay has advantages to be more useful and credible, while in vitro phagocytosis assay could give insights during an early stage in a very short timeline. There are many methods to carry out in vitro phagocytosis assays, including flow assay based on flow cytometry and classical phagocytosis assay. They differ in assay components and readout system. In terms of the evaluation of vaccine effectiveness, the flow assay might be more suitable for the evaluation of conjugate vaccine efficacy than for the evaluation of the conventional vaccine. The preference for either flow or killing assay will depend on which criteria are most important in a particular situation.
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