Intestinal Bacteria Encapsulated by Biomaterials Enhance Immunotherapy

Front Immunol. 2021 Feb 10;11:620170. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.620170. eCollection 2020.


The human intestine contains thousands of bacterial species essential for optimal health. Aside from their pathogenic effects, these bacteria have been associated with the efficacy of various treatments of diseases. Due to their impact on many human diseases, intestinal bacteria are receiving increasing research attention, and recent studies on intestinal bacteria and their effects on treatments has yielded valuable results. Particularly, intestinal bacteria can affect responses to numerous forms of immunotherapy, especially cancer therapy. With the development of precision medicine, understanding the factors that influence intestinal bacteria and how they can be regulated to enhance immunotherapy effects will improve the application prospects of intestinal bacteria therapy. Further, biomaterials employed for the convenient and efficient delivery of intestinal bacteria to the body have also become a research hotspot. In this review, we discuss the recent findings on the regulatory role of intestinal bacteria in immunotherapy, focusing on immune cells they regulate. We also summarize biomaterials used for their delivery.

Keywords: biomaterial; immune cell; immunotherapy; intestinal bacteria; oral delivery; probiotic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Biocompatible Materials / administration & dosage*
  • Cell Encapsulation*
  • DNA, Bacterial / administration & dosage
  • Drug Carriers / administration & dosage
  • Fecal Microbiota Transplantation*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Biocompatible Materials
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Drug Carriers