Differences in chemical composition and internal structure influence systemic host response to implants of biomaterials

Silvia Scaglione, Michele Cilli, Mauro Fiorini, Rodolfo Quarto, Giuseppina Pennesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In reconstructive surgery, implantable devices are used to supply a missing function. In tissue engineering, biomaterials serve to guide and eventually deliver cells and/or molecules where a tissue regenerative response is needed. The host organism always reacts to implants of any biomaterial, in some instances even triggering a local cascade of events called the foreign body response (FBR), whose mechanisms are well defined. What has yet to be completely unraveled are the biomarkers systemically mirroring the FBR and the regeneration processes, which would be helpful for assessing the therapeutic efficacy of the bioscaffold. Our goal was to identify a biomarker fingerprint of the systemic reaction of host response to bioscaffold implants. Different biomaterials chosen for their osteoconductive properties, including collagen, ydroxyapatite, in foam or granules, and poly-e-caprolactone, were implanted in immunocompetent mice. We analyzed serum concentrations of cells and cytokines involved in the inflammatory/immune response, and the histological features of grafts. Within two weeks after implantation, a wave of proinflammatory cytokines was flowing in the blood stream and the concentration of blood cells changed, revealing specific patterns depending on the chemistry and structure of the implanted biomaterials. Cells secreting pro-inflammatory, chemoactractant, and pro-angiogenic cytokines required for the early events in tissue repair were locally recruited because of the presence of a bioscaffold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-431
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Foreign body response
  • Leukocyte
  • Lymphocyte
  • Monocyte
  • Scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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