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Immune responses towards bioengineered tissues and strategies to control them

Angeletti, Andreaa; Cantarelli, Chiarab; Cravedi, Paoloc

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: October 2019 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 582–589
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000688
ORGANOGENESIS: Edited by Giuseppe Orlando

Purpose of review Research into development of artificial tissues and bioengineered organs to replace physiological functions of injured counterparts has highlighted a previously underestimated challenge for its clinical translatability: the immune response against biomaterials. Herein, we will provide an update and review current knowledge regarding this important barrier to regenerative medicine.

Recent findings Although a clear understanding of the immune reactivity against biomaterials remains elusive, accumulating evidence indicates that innate immune cells, primarily neutrophils and macrophages, play a key role in the initial phases of the immune response. More recently, data have shown that in later phases, T and B cells are also involved. The use of physicochemical modifications of biomaterials and cell-based strategies to modulate the host inflammatory response is being actively investigated for effective biomaterial integration.

Summary The immune response towards biomaterials and bioengineered organs plays a crucial role in determining their utility as transplantable grafts. Expanding our understanding of these responses is necessary for developing protolerogenic strategies and delivering on the ultimate promise of regenerative medicine.

aNephrology Dialysis and Renal Transplantation Unit, S. Orsola University Hospital, Bologna

bDipartimento di Medicina e Chirurgia Università di Parma, UO Nefrologia, Azienda Ospedaliera-Universitaria Parma, Parma, Italy

cDepartment of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence to Paolo Cravedi, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 1 Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA. Tel: +1 212 241 3349; fax: +1 212 987 0389; e-mail:

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