The CAR T-Cell Mechanoimmunology at a Glance

Rui Li, Chao Ma, Haogang Cai, Weiqiang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell transfer is a novel paradigm of adoptive T-cell immunotherapy. When coming into contact with a target cancer cell, CAR T-cell forms a nonclassical immunological synapse with the cancer cell and dynamically orchestrates multiple critical forces to commit cytotoxic immune function. Such an immunologic process involves a force transmission in the CAR and a spatiotemporal remodeling of cell cytoskeleton to facilitate CAR activation and CAR T-cell cytotoxic function. Yet, the detailed understanding of such mechanotransduction at the interface between the CAR T-cell and the target cell, as well as its molecular structure and signaling, remains less defined and is just beginning to emerge. This article summarizes the basic mechanisms and principles of CAR T-cell mechanoimmunology, and various lessons that can be comparatively learned from interrogation of mechanotransduction at the immunological synapse in normal cytotoxic T-cell. The recent development and future application of novel bioengineering tools for studying CAR T-cell mechanoimmunology is also discussed. It is believed that this progress report will shed light on the CAR T-cell mechanoimmunology and encourage future researches in revealing the less explored yet important mechanosensing and mechanotransductive mechanisms involved in CAR T-cell immuno-oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2002628
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 16 2020


  • CAR T-cell
  • immuno-oncology
  • immunological synapse
  • mechanoimmunology
  • mechanotransduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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