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. 2014 Apr;10(4):1728-40.
doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2013.12.036. Epub 2013 Dec 27.

Engineering Vaccines and Niches for Immune Modulation


Engineering Vaccines and Niches for Immune Modulation

Alberto Purwada et al. Acta Biomater. .


Controlled modulation of immune response, especially the balance between immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive responses, is critical for a variety of clinical applications, including immunotherapies against cancer and infectious diseases, treatment of autoimmune disorders, transplant surgeries, regenerative medicine, prosthetic implants, etc. Our ability to precisely modify both innate and adaptive immune responses could provide new therapeutic directions in a variety of diseases. In the context of vaccines and immunotherapies, the interplay between antigen-presenting cells (e.g. dendritic cells and macrophages), B cells, T helper and killer subtypes, and regulatory T- and B-cell responses is critical for generating effective immunity against cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases. In recent years, immunoengineering has emerged as a new field that uses quantitative engineering tools to understand molecular-, cellular- and system-level interactions of the immune system and to develop design-driven approaches to control and modulate immune responses. Biomaterials are an integral part of this engineering toolbox and can exploit the intrinsic biological and mechanical cues of the immune system to directly modulate and train immune cells and direct their response to a particular phenotype. A large body of literature exists on strategies to evade or suppress the immune response in implants, transplantation and regenerative medicine. This review specifically focuses on the use of biomaterials for immunostimulation and controlled modulation, especially in the context of vaccines and immunotherapies against cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune disorders. Bioengineering smart systems that can simultaneously deliver multiple bioactive agents in a controlled manner or can work as a niche for in situ priming and modulation of the immune system could significantly enhance the efficacy of next-generation immunotherapeutics. In this review, we describe our perspective on the important design aspects for the development of biomaterials that can actively modulate immune responses by stimulating receptor complexes and cells, and delivering multiple immunomodulatory biomolecules.

Keywords: Biomaterials; Immunoengineering; Immunomodulation; Niches; Vaccines.

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