Modular aAPCs and methods of their manufacture and use are provided. The modular aAPCs are constructed from polymeric microparticles. The aAPCs include encapsulated cytokines and coupling agents which modularly couple functional elements including T cell receptor activators, co-stimulatory molecules and adhesion molecules to the particle. The ability of these aAPCs to release cytokines in a controlled manner, coupled with their modular nature and ease of ligand attachment, results in an ideal, tunable APC capable of stimulating and expanding primary T cells.
This invention was made with government support under an appointment to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Scholarship and Fellowship Program, administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and DHS. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) under DOE contract number DE-AC05-06OR23100. The government has certain rights in the invention.