Video: Killer T Cell Attacks a Cancer Cell

Posted on February 16, 2012

Alex Ritter, a PhD student at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, recorded this video of a killer T cell of the immune system attacking a cancer cell using an Olympus microscope. The video was recorded in the laboratory of Professor Gillian Griffiths.

Professor Griffiths says, "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."

The Cytotoxic T cell is just 10 microns in length (about 1/10 the width of a human hair). The video has been sped up 92 times real time. Take a look:



The video is from Cambridge University's Under the Microscope series, which can be found here.