Immunomodulatory biomaterials in regenerative medicine
A new Editorial discusses the potential of biomaterials to solve issues with the immune system in regenerative medicine.
With the continued dearth of organs available for transplant, the development of tissue engineering toward organ replacement remains a high research priority. However, issues inherent with tissue engineering such as rejection by the host immune system and clinical applicability of engineered tissue remain a challenge.
A new Editorial from Nihal Engin Vrana (PROTiP Medical, Strasbourg, France), published in Future Science OA, discusses the potential use of biomaterials in this context.
In particular, Vrana discusses the potential for biomaterials to solve issues with immunosuppression and integration with host vasculature. "In the last 10 years, more and more cases of clinical implementation of tissue engineering have been published with short- and long-term successes," he noted. "These successes give hope for design and implementation of more complex tissues. For development of fully functional engineered tissues incorporation of immune cells or immunomodulatory elements might have significant benefits."
Developments in temporal control of the immune system, bottom-up assembly methods, bioactive miRNAs, and topographical and chemical control of scaffold features, could all improve our production of physiologically faithful organs and organoids. "A new focus on establishing a cross-talk with the host immune system, rather than trying to evade it, could pave the way for more functional and fast-integrating artificial tissues," he noted.
The full Editorial is available open access here.
Source: Vrana NE. Immunomodulatory biomaterials and regenerative immunology. Future Sci. OA FSO146 doi:10.4155/fsoa-2016-0060 (2016).