Ask A Scientist: What Antigens Can Stimulate IFNγ Producing CD8+ T Cells?

A curious researcher recently asked us to suggest suitable antigens that could stimulate IFNγ producing CD8+ T cells.  The short answer: Virus proteins.  But as with anything in immunology and virology, there is a longer, more complicated explanation as well.    Protein Antigens vs. Peptide Antigens CD8+ T cells normally recognize antigens that are produced […]

Ask A Scientist: How Many Donors Does It Take to Cover All HLA Types?

How many donors would it take to cover all of the HLA types?  It’s a question I’ve been asked several times over the years but have struggled to answer with clarity.  HLA genes are the most diverse in the human genome. With multiple genes having hundreds if not thousands of alleles, an accurate answer to […]

Ask A Scientist: How Do I Use Dendritic Cells for an MLR?

Our resident dendritic cell expert, Benjamin Tjoa, was one of the first scientists in the world to develop dendritic cells for use in cell-based vaccines. Ben has traveled internationally to help labs prepare for developing dendritic cell-based therapies. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells are a hot topic for many of our customers, and Ben has answered countless […]

Ask A Scientist: How Do You Test for Blood-Borne Pathogens?

What’s in This Vial? It’s a question we’re happy to hear from inquisitive customers, and one that’s important for all researchers to know the answer to. For years we have been answering customer questions about the pathogen testing that we conduct on our immune cell products and donors, so we’re answering those FAQs here for […]

Ask A Scientist: How Does Astarte Cryopreserve Cells?

As a buyer of human and animal immune cell products, you trust that your biomaterials will be handled with care and precision throughout the collection, processing, characterization, and cryopreservation processes. We understand how immensely important cell quality is to the efficacy and timeliness of your research efforts, which is why we are completely transparent with […]

Ask A Scientist: How Can I Use Antigen-Specific T Cells?

Antigen-specific T cells have many excellent use cases in the lab for early-stage research and discovery. As we continue to develop novel antigen-specific T cell lines — including those specific to tumors, diabetes, and viruses — more use cases are coming to light.  If you’re working in an academic or biopharma research lab, consider antigen-specific […]

Ask A Scientist: Immunology Acronym Confusion

With so many acronyms used in the field of immunology, things can get confusing and mistakes can be costly. Acronyms are useful devices to reduce long, sometimes tongue-twisting terms into manageable shorthand, but do add confusion to those newer to the field.    We’ve cleared up several of these situations through the years via our […]

Ask A Scientist: How to Thaw, Handle & Store Frozen Cells

Thawing frozen immune cell products can be tricky if you don’t take the proper precautions. It’s best to be well versed in thawing, handling and storage techniques before receiving your cells so you can ensure viability and function for your research. Many customers have similar cell handling questions, so we’ve compiled some of the most […]

Ask A Scientist: What’s the Best Medium for Culturing Macrophages?

One of the most popular questions we get here at Astarte is which medium formulation is best for culturing human and mouse macrophages. We’ve tested many different media and methods over the years and have some insights to pass along. The Effect of Culture Medium on Human Macrophages Human monocytes are typically considered macrophages following […]