Towards an in vitro model mimicking the foreign body response: tailoring the surface properties of biomaterials to modulate extracellular matrix

Scientific Reports 2014 Volume 4, Article number 6325

Despite various studies to minimize host reaction following a biomaterial implantation, an appealing strategy in regenerative medicine is to actively use such an immune response to trigger and control tissue regeneration. We have developed an in vitro model to modulate the host response by tuning biomaterials’ surface properties through surface modifications techniques as a new strategy for tissue regeneration applications. Results showed tunable surface topography, roughness, wettability, and chemistry by varying treatment type and exposure, allowing for the first time to correlate the effect of these surface properties on cell attachment, morphology, strength and proliferation, as well as proinflammatory (IL-1β, IL-6) and antiflammatory cytokines (TGF-β1, IL-10) secreted in medium, and protein expression of collagen and elastin. Surface microstructuring, derived from chloroform partial etching, increased surface roughness and oxygen content. This resulted in enhanced cell adhesion, strength and proliferation as well as a balance of soluble factors for optimum collagen and elastin synthesis for tissue regeneration. By linking surface parameters to cell activity, we could determine the fate of the regenerated tissue to create successful soft tissue-engineered replacement.