Repetitive subcutaneous implantation of different types of (biodegradable) biomaterials alters the foreign body reaction

Biomaterials. 2001 Jun;22(11):1385-91. doi: 10.1016/s0142-9612(00)00295-7.


In the present study two biodegradable materials (cross-linked collagens) and two non-biodegradable materials (polyurethane and silicone) were applied in a repetitive subcutaneous implantation model in rats. In contrast to the first challenge, the second challenge with the same type of material, but at a different subcutaneous site of the same animal, induced an increase of macrophages and giant cells inside the biodegradable materials. Additionally, only after the second challenge clusters and accumulations of plasma cells were present in the surrounding tissue of each type of material. In the same areas an increase of MHC II expression was measured by immunocytochemistry. Differences in the numbers of macrophages and T cells were not observed around the explants. Undifferentiated B cells or NK cells were not present at any time point. The results indicate that alterations observed after the second challenge did not depend on biodegradation of the materials. Significance of these findings should be considered in view of increased and repetitive use of the same type of biomaterial (possibly for different application sites) for implantation in patients.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Foreign-Body Reaction / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II