Can cells and biomaterials in therapeutic medicine be shielded from innate immune recognition?

Trends Immunol. 2010 Jan;31(1):32-8. doi: 10.1016/


Biomaterials (e.g. polymers, metals, or ceramics), cell and cell cluster (e.g. pancreatic islets) transplantation are beginning to offer novel treatment modalities for some otherwise intractable diseases. The innate immune system is involved in incompatibility reactions that occur when biomaterials or cells are introduced into the blood circulation. In particular, the complement, coagulation and contact systems are involved in the recognition of biomaterials and cells, eliciting activation of platelets and leukocytes. Such treatments are associated with anaphylactoid and thrombotic reactions, inflammation, and rejection of biomaterials and cells, leading to treatment failures and adverse reactions. We discuss here the new technologies that are being developed to shield the biomaterial and cell surfaces from recognition by the innate immune system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Cell Transplantation*
  • Complement Activation
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*


  • Biocompatible Materials