In vivo research
The regeneration process as a part of wound healing starts with the inflammation phase where different inflammatory cells accumulate in the impaired region to create a suitable microenvironment and recruit differentiated cells involved in tissue regeneration. Biomaterial-guided bone and soft tissue regeneration aim to support the regeneration process by providing a scaffold for the involved cells and hold space for tissue regeneration. However, after material implantation, the biomaterial surface and the host cells interact with each other resulting in biomaterial specific tissue response. In this context and in the process of biomaterial-guided tissue regeneration, there is an interference between the wound healing including tissue regeneration and the specific biomaterial tissue response.
Different in vivo models for bone and soft tissue regeneration are implemented to analyze the biomaterial specific inflammatory response and the classification of biomaterials according to their resulting cellular response. The biomaterial related inflammatory pattern is dependent on the physio-chemical composition of the biomaterials. We focus on the inflammatory pattern evoked by the investigated biomaterial, the type of the recruited and formed cells and their consequences for the regeneration process.
There is an obvious relation between the cellular reaction and the regeneration capacity of the biomaterials in terms of degradation, vascularization and structure maintenance, especially in polymeric and resorbable biomaterials such as collagen-based biomaterials.
Furthermore, the cellular reaction induced by bone substitute materials is crucial for their regenerative pattern in terms of osteoconduction and biocompatibility as well as the level of degradation.
Therefore, main focus is placed on the classification of the cellular type in mononuclear cells and biomaterial-related multinucleated giant cells. We investigate the inflammatory type and the polarization of the cellular response in possible cellular subtypes such as pro-inflammatory (M1) versus anti-inflammatory cells (M2) and their roles in the regeneration process.