The innate response to biomaterials

P. A. Lalor, L. C. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Physical barriers, such as skin, nails, lips, and mucous membranes, are the first line of defense against pathogen invasion and irritants and are fairly effective in our daily defense against exposure to microbes. However, the barriers can be compromised by disease or a physical breach such as the surgical implantation of biomaterials. Once breached, there are several strategies used by the human body to respond to the presence of foreign materials and material breakdown products. Traditionally, these response methods have been segregated into “innate” (also called nonspecific) and “acquired” (also called adaptive or specific) immune responses. This article reviews these responses and the current knowledge of innate responses and pathways that are activated by biomaterials and biomaterial breakdown products. These include initial cellular responses (such as inflammation to both inert and resorbable materials as well as inflammatory and giant cell responses to resorbable materials) and the inflammasome, the proposed mechanism for innate responses to particulate biomaterials. This article also reviews strategies implemented to alter biomaterial surfaces as a means to increase the biocompatibility of implantable devices (eg, vascular stents) and how the innate response to particulate biomaterials has been harnessed to improve efficacy of vaccines and serve as a platform for novel therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Biomaterials II
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9780081006924
ISBN (Print)9780081006917
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Biodegradable
  • Biomaterials
  • Evasion
  • Giant cells
  • Inflammasome
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immune response
  • Macrophages
  • Non-specific immunity
  • Particles
  • Phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The innate response to biomaterials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this