This brief video from Cambridge University’s Under the Microscope series shows a killer T cell, which measure 10 microns in length, identifying and attacking a cancer cell. The microscopic footage was captured by Alex Ritter, a PhD student in the lab of Gillian Griffiths, PhD.
Griffiths writes on the university’s YouTube page:
Cells of the immune system protect the body against pathogens. If cells in our bodies are infected by viruses, or become cancerous, then killer cells of the immune system identify and destroy the affected cells. Cytotoxic T cells are very precise and efficient killers. They are able to destroy infected or cancerous cells, without destroying healthy cells surrounding them … By understanding how this works, we can develop ways to control killer cells. This will allow us to find ways to improve cancer therapies, and ameliorate autoimmune diseases caused when killer cells run amok and attack healthy cells in our bodies.