In vitro chemotaxis and tissue remodeling assays quantitatively characterize foreign body reaction

Main Article Content

Maren Jannasch, Tobias Weigel, Lisa Engelhardt, Judith Wiezoreck, Sabine Gaetzner, Heike Walles, Tobias Schmitz, Jan Hansmann
[show affiliations]


Surgical implantation of a biomaterial triggers foreign-body-induced fibrous encapsulation. Two major mechanisms of this complex physiological process are (I) chemotaxis of fibroblasts from surrounding tissue to the implant region, followed by (II) tissue remodeling. As an alternative to animal studies, we here propose a process-aligned in vitro test platform to investigate the material dependency of fibroblast chemotaxis and tissue remodeling mediated by material-resident macrophages.

Embedded in a biomimetic three-dimensional collagen hydrogel, chemotaxis of fibroblasts in the direction of macrophage-material-conditioned cell culture supernatant was analyzed by live cell imaging. A combination of statistical analysis with a complementary parameterized random walk model allowed quantitative and qualitative characterization of the cellular walk process. We thereby identified an increasing macrophage-mediated chemotactic potential ranking of biomaterials from glass over polytetrafluorethylene to titanium. To address long-term effects of bio-material-resident macrophages on fibroblasts in a three-dimensional microenvironment, we further studied tissue remod­eling by applying macrophage-material-conditioned medium on fibrous in vitro tissue models. A high correlation of the in vitro tissue model to state of the art in vivo study data was found. Titanium exhibited a significantly lower tissue remodeling capacity compared to polytetrafluorethylene. With this approach, we identified a material dependency of both chemotaxis and tissue remodeling processes, strengthening knowledge on their specific contribution to the foreign body reaction.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jannasch, M. (2017) “In vitro chemotaxis and tissue remodeling assays quantitatively characterize foreign body reaction”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 34(2), pp. 253–266. doi: 10.14573/altex.1610071.

Most read articles by the same author(s)