25 April 2024

Unleash the therapeutic potential of NK cells

To support innovation in the ever-evolving landscape of immuno-oncology, BPS Bioscience offers a suite of NK Cell research solutions from ready-to-use primary cells and expansion kits to functional bioassays.



NK cells are critical effectors of innate immunity against cancer, pathogen-infected cells, and antibody-targeted cells. Their significance in adoptive cell therapy is underscored by the current surge of research into Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) NK cells and multi-specific NK cell engagers, particularly for cancer therapy. NK cells execute their functions through various mechanisms, including releasing cytotoxic granules, expressing death ligands, facilitating antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity, and producing cytokines.

Adoptive NK cell therapy involves isolating, expanding, and infusing ex vivo activated NK cells into patients. Additionally, NK cells can be engineered to recognize specific targets, for example using chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). NK cells can also be used for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to improve outcomes and reduce complications. For scientists, assessing immune cell engagement stands as a critical step in developing effective drugs like bispecific antibodies, T cell engager molecules, or conventional antibodies. Such assessments are pivotal for optimizing therapeutic interventions and advancing treatment strategies.

BPS Bioscience offers a suite of tools to support research on NK cells and save you precious time. Discover off-the-shelf human expanded NK cells, cell isolation and expansion kits, optimized NK cell medium & cytokines, control engager molecules and antibodies, and cell-based functional assays.

Expanded human NK cells, frozen

  • Ready-to-use expanded primary NK cells, enriched from human PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells).
  • May be used immediately in downstream applications.
  • Ideal for ADCC (antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity) bioassays and other co-culture assays.

Immune cell isolation and expansion kits

  • NCAM1/CD56 Positive Cell Isolation Kit magnetically separates NK cells expressing NK-specific marker NCAM1/CD56 from a complex immune cell population.
  • Simple, fast & dependable.
  • The expansion kit achieves 102 to 103 expansion of NK cells and includes engineered K562 feeder cells.
  • Healthy human PBMCs (frozen) are available as starter cells.
Figure 1. Illustration of the immune cell enrichment process starting from blood collection.


  • For expression of CARs, NK molecules or ligands. NK cells expressing a specific CAR construct are ideal as a positive control in functional bioassays, and for the design and optimization of co-culture assays.
  • CRISPR/Cas9 lentiviruses for knocking out NK-related molecules.

Cell-Based Functionality Assays Evaluate Immune Cell Engagers and Antibodies

  • Innovative cell-based functional assays use biologically relevant PBMC, providing a robust platform for assessing the potential of novel bispecific molecules or antibodies.
  • Bioassays measure the cytotoxicity of PBMCs towards target cells of interest.
  • They employ either dye tracers or luciferase activity as readout. Dye tracers allow for the distinction between live/dead target cells, whereas luciferase activity provides a sensitive measure of target cell viability, enabling precise monitoring of the dynamic interplay between immune cells and their targets.
Figure 2. Left panel: Illustration of the functional assay principle. Effector cells are placed in co-culture with target cells in the presence of a candidate drug such as a bispecific antibody.
Right panel: PBMCs and NALM-6 cells labeled with CFSE (carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester) were combined at a 10 to 1 ratio before adding dilutions of anti-CD19 x anti-CD3 bispecific (BPS Bioscience #100441) or negative control anti-CLDN18.2-anti-CD3 bispecific (BPS Bioscience #101541). After 24 hours, cells were stained with 7-AAD and analyzed by flow cytometry.

Note: illustrations were created with BioRender.com

Unleash the therapeutic potential of NK cells

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