Effects of swelling on immune activity

Inflammation Affects 3

The proper functioning of the immune system depends on the ability of cells to travel throughout the entire body.  What happens if something hinders this motion, such as changes in tissue porosity, collapsed vessels, or strong pressure gradients?

Some evidence suggests that the extent and timing of swelling in lymph nodes affects the motion of T cells, important immune cells necessary to fight off an infection.  We plan to develop poromechanical models of soft tissues, including lymph nodes, to study the relationship between inflammatory swelling and cell movement and behavior.  This work could help inform the refinement of vaccines to be maximally effective.