Developing an in vitro model for soft tissue inflammatory response to biomaterials
Authors:Abigail Corrin, Kevin Sung
Mentor:Benjamin Wu, Professor and Chair of Department of BIoengineering, University of California Los Angeles
Wound healing relies on a combination of proteins created by the immune system through an inflammatory response. Cells involved in inflammation release cytokines, ECM proteins, and growth factors stimulating cell division.
The overall aim of this research study is to develop an in vitro model which can closely mimic the soft tissue response seen in vivo using a co-culture of monocytes and fibroblasts. The system can quantify the inflammatory effects of biomaterials and directly link the underlying cytokines which are stimulated by the material.
Biomaterials have been tested for their biocompatibility and their interaction with the existing tissue in vivo, however a reproducible in vitro model does not exist. Due to the body marking a biomaterial as a foreign substance, the immune system activates mechanisms including release of cytokines and proliferation of macrophages. The degree of immune system reaction depends on the properties of the material. By combining monocytes and human foreskin fibroblasts suspended in purified bovine collagen, the effects that biomaterials may induce in a in vitro setup with cellular composition similar to that of soft tissue were tested. Supernatant of cells cultured in three dimensional constructs with and without biomaterials were collected at different time points. Analysis of the co-culture supernatant for IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, and GM-CSF using a multiplex assay can provide insight on the extent of inflammation induced by the presence of a biomaterial.