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Biosci Rep. 2014 Aug 18;34(4). pii: e00134. doi: 10.1042/BSR20140097.

Microdevices for examining immunological responses of single cells to HIV.

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‡Center for Biomaterials, Biomedical Research Institute, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea.


More than 60 million people in the world have been diagnosed with HIV infections since the virus was recognized as the causative agent of AIDS in the 1980s. Even though more than half of the infected patients have died, effective disease treatment and prevention measures have not been established. ART (antiretroviral therapy) is the only proven HIV treatment that sustains the suppression of patient viraemia. Current routine approaches to treat HIV infections are targeted at developing vaccines that will induce humoral or cell memory immune responses. However, developing an effective vaccine has been challenging because the HIV mutates rapidly, which allows the virus to evade immune surveillances established against the previous strain. In addition, the virus is able to quickly establish a reservoir and treatment is difficult because of the general lack of knowledge about HIV immune response mechanisms. This review introduces common disease symptoms and the progression of HIV infection with a brief summary of the current treatment approaches. Different cellular immune responses against HIV are also discussed, with emphasis on a nanotechnology research that has focused on probing T-cell response to HIV infection. Furthermore, we discuss recent noteworthy nanotechnology updates on T-cell response screening that is focused on HIV infection. Finally, we review potential future treatment strategies based on the correlations between T-cell response and HIV infection.

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