Understanding the foreign body response (FBR) and desiging strategies to modulate such a response represent a grand challenge for implant devices and biomaterials. Here, the development of a microfluidic platform is reported, i.e., the FBR-on-a-chip (FBROC) for modeling the cascade of events during immune cell response to implants. The platform models the native implant microenvironment where the implants are interfaced directly with surrounding tissues, as well as vasculature with circulating immune cells. The study demonstrates that the release of cytokines such as monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) from the extracellular matrix (ECM)-like hydrogels in the bottom tissue chamber induces trans-endothelial migration of circulating monocytes in the vascular channel toward the hydrogels, thus mimicking implant-induced inflammation. Data using patient-derived peripheral blood mononuclear cells further reveal inter-patient differences in FBR, highlighting the potential of this platform for monitoring FBR in a personalized manner. The prototype FBROC platform provides an enabling strategy to interrogate FBR on various implants, including biomaterials and engineered tissue constructs, in a physiologically relevant and individual-specific manner.
Keywords: biomaterials; foreign body responses; immune responses; implants; organs-on-a-chip.
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