Biomaterials: Foreign Bodies or Tuners for the Immune Response?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The perspectives of regenerative medicine are still severely hampered by the host response to biomaterial implantation, despite the robustness of technologies that hold the promise to recover the functionality of damaged organs and tissues. In this scenario, the cellular and molecular events that decide on implant success and tissue regeneration are played at the interface between the foreign body and the host inflammation, determined by innate and adaptive immune responses. To avoid adverse events, rather than the use of inert scaffolds, current state of the art points to the use of immunomodulatory biomaterials and their knowledge-based use to reduce neutrophil activation, and optimize M1 to M2 macrophage polarization, Th1 to Th2 lymphocyte switch, and Treg induction. Despite the fact that the field is still evolving and much remains to be accomplished, recent research breakthroughs have provided a broader insight on the correct choice of biomaterial physicochemical modifications to tune the reaction of the host immune system to implanted biomaterial and to favor integration and healing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-42
Number of pages42
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019


  • biomaterials
  • extra-cellular matrix
  • foreign body reaction
  • immune response
  • macrophages
  • scaffold


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