The efficacy of implanted biomedical devices is often compromised by host recognition and subsequent foreign body responses. Here, we demonstrate the role of the geometry of implanted materials on their biocompatibility in vivo. In rodent and non-human primate animal models, implanted spheres 1.5 mm and above in diameter across a broad spectrum of materials, including hydrogels, ceramics, metals and plastics, significantly abrogated foreign body reactions and fibrosis when compared with smaller spheres. We also show that for encapsulated rat pancreatic islet cells transplanted into streptozotocin-treated diabetic C57BL/6 mice, islets prepared in 1.5-mm alginate capsules were able to restore blood-glucose control for up to 180 days, a period more than five times longer than for transplanted grafts encapsulated within conventionally sized 0.5-mm alginate capsules. Our findings suggest that the in vivo biocompatibility of biomedical devices can be significantly improved simply by tuning their spherical dimensions.
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This work was supported by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) (Grant 17-2007-1063), the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Foundation (Grant 09PG-T1D027), the National Institutes of Health (Grants EB000244, EB000351, DE013023 and CA151884), the Koch Institute Support (core) Grant P30-CA14051 from the National Cancer Institute, and also by a generous gift from the Tayebati Family Foundation. O.V. was supported by JDRF and DOD/CDMRP postdoctoral fellowships (Grants 3-2013-178 and W81XWH-13-1-0215, respectively). J.O. is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIDDK) R01DK091526 and the Chicago Diabetes Project. J.M-E. is supported by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Clinical Scientist Training Award (7-12-CST-03) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Presidential Student Mentor Award. The authors would like to acknowledge the use of resources at the Koch Institute Swanson Biotechnology Center for technical support, specifically, the Hope Babette Tang Histology, Microscopy, Flow Cytometry, and Animal Imaging and pre-clinical testing core facilities. We acknowledge the use of imaging resources at the W. M. Keck Biological Imaging Facility (Whitehead Institute) and assistance from W. Salmon. We thank R. Bogorad and K. Whitehead for helpful discussions and feedback on the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Veiseh, O., Doloff, J., Ma, M. et al. Size- and shape-dependent foreign body immune response to materials implanted in rodents and non-human primates. Nature Mater 14, 643–651 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat4290
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