The foreign body reaction to a biodegradable biomaterial differs between rats and mice

J Biomed Mater Res. 2000 Dec 5;52(3):439-46. doi: 10.1002/1097-4636(20001205)52:3<439::aid-jbm1>;2-c.


Before a biomaterial can be applied in the clinic, biocompatibility must be tested in in vivo models, by monitoring the foreign body reaction. In this study, we compared the foreign body reaction (FBR) to the biodegradable biomaterial hexamethylenediisocyanate crosslinked dermal sheep collagen (HDSC) between several strains of rats and mice. HDSC disks were implanted subcutaneously on the backs of AO, BN, F344, LEW, and PVG rats and on the backs of 129 SVEV, BALB/c, and C57BL/6 mice. Materials were explanted after 7, 14, 21, and 28 days and processed for (immuno) light and transmission electron microscopic evaluation. In all rat strains, giant cell formation and phagocytosis of HDSC bundles were comparable. In addition, in the PVG rat, many plasma cells infiltrated the HDSC disks. Only a few T cells were present in AO and PVG rats, whereas, in F344 and LEW rats, the presence of T cells was more pronounced. BN rats showed an intermediate T-cell infiltration. In mice, the FBR to HDSC was comparable between the different strains. Compared with rats, giant cell formation was limited, whereas stroma formation was more abundant. Phagocytosis of HDSC bundles rarely occurred in mice, whereas calcification was observed more often. It is concluded that the FBR to HDSC clearly differs between rats and mice. This has consequences for assessment studies on biocompatibility and also on fundamental biomaterial research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Calcinosis / immunology
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Collagen / chemistry
  • Collagen / immunology
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Cyanates / adverse effects*
  • Cyanates / chemistry
  • Cyanates / immunology
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / immunology*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / pathology*
  • Giant Cells, Foreign-Body / cytology
  • Giant Cells, Foreign-Body / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isocyanates
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / ultrastructure
  • Materials Testing*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Phagocytosis / immunology
  • Plasma Cells / cytology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sheep
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Species Specificity
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Cyanates
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Isocyanates
  • 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate
  • Collagen