Neutrophil pp 107-116 | Cite as

Ex Vivo Human Neutrophil Swarming Against Live Microbial Targets

  • Alex Hopke
  • Daniel IrimiaEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2087)


Neutrophils often communicate with each other and coordinate their actions to seal off large sites of injury and infection that individual neutrophils could not cover. The concerted actions of neutrophils are essential for the expeditious protection of healthy tissues from wounds and microbes. These processes, collectively known as swarming, are typically studied in vivo in mice. However, these studies are low throughput and their relevance to human disease is limited. Recently, new tools have been developed for the study of human neutrophil swarming ex vivo. The emergent microscale swarming assays are providing significant insights into the molecular mediators of swarming. By enabling the direct study of human cells, these assays also shed new light on human diseases and host responses against infections. Here, we describe a robust technique for manufacturing microscale swarming arrays with live microbial targets (e.g., clusters of Candida albicans). These arrays allow for the direct, precise, and efficient interrogation of the antimicrobial functions of human swarming against a variety of targets.

Key words

Human Array Micropatterning Swarming Candida Time-lapse Migration Phagocytosis Wound healing Infections 



This work was supported by funding from National Institute of Health (awards EB002503 and GM092804). Alex Hopke is supported by a fellowship from Shriners Hospital for Children.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical School, Shriners Hospital for ChildrenBostonUSA

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