The usage of biomaterials and nanoparticles in healthcare applications is increasingly common and continues to grow. Although the ambition to develop more sophisticated medical technologies, and more targeted and effective healthcare solutions, there is a risk that these materials induce undesirable reactions in the persons to be treated and even risk patient safety.
Activation of the innate immun system
When these materials come in contact with the body, they may activate the innate immune system, which could lead to for example inflammation and thrombosis. If we could figure out what aspects of the biomaterial surface that triggers the activation, a new generation of biomaterials could be designed, and patient safety could be improved. One of the researchers addressing this issue is Karin Fromell, Associate Professor in experimental clinical immunology at the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Uppsala University.
Identify mechanisms responsible for the activation of the immune response
In an ongoing project, Assoc. Prof Fromell and her team aim to identify the connections between the activation of the innate immune response and specific properties of the biomaterial surfaces. In their work, they are also trying to identify what chemical and biochemical mechanisms are responsible for the observed activation.
Relevant models and lab methods required
The reactions involved in these processes are complex, and investigation of these immune responses requires intricate and sophisticated approaches and lab methods. In Assoc. Prof Fromell’s team, they use a whole blood model, which enables them to investigate the biocompatibility of biomaterials in vitro in human whole blood in a unique way. This is then supplemented with plasma protein profiling and physicochemical protein analysis methods, such as QCM-D to gain a broad understanding of the mechanisms behind biomaterial-triggered contact activation of the blood's cascade system, all the way down to molecular level.
Webinar on how QCM-D is used to assess the inflammatory responses induced by biomaterials in contact with human blood using in vitro assays
In a recent webinar, Assoc. Prof. Fromell, talked about her research in this area and described how they use QCM-D to investigate the influence of key initiator proteins in the coagulation and complement systems to identify critical conditions for the formation of protein-protein complexes that prompt the activation of the cascade systems.
Watch the webinar below
Assessing the inflammatory responses induced by biomaterials in contact with human blood using in vitro assays including QCM-D
Malin graduated in engineering physics in 2006, where her research focused on the QCM-D technology. Since then, she has been scrutinizing the how’s and why’s of the world in general, and the world of QCM-D in particular.