Size- and shape-dependent foreign body immune response to materials implanted in rodents and non-human primates

Omid Veiseh, Joshua C. Doloff, Minglin Ma, Arturo J. Vegas, Hok Hei Tam, Andrew R. Bader, Jie Li, Erin Langan, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Whitney S. Loo, Siddharth Jhunjhunwala, Alan Chiu, Sean Siebert, Katherine Tang, Jennifer Hollister-Lock, Stephanie Aresta-Dasilva, Matthew Bochenek, Joshua Mendoza-Elias, Yong Wang, Merigeng QiDanya M. Lavin, Michael Chen, Nimit Dholakia, Raj Thakrar, Igor Lacík, Gordon C. Weir, Jose Oberholzer, Dale L. Greiner, Robert Langer, Daniel G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

397 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalNature Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 26 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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