Tissue response and biomaterial integration: The efficacy of in vitro methods

C. J. Kirkpatrick, V. Krump-Konvalinkova, R. E. Unger, F. Bittinger, M. Otto, K. Peters

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89 Scopus citations


Implantation involves tissue trauma, which evokes an inflammatory response, coupled to a wound healing reaction, involving angiogenesis, fibroblast activation and matrix remodelling. Until now the type and extent of such reactions to give optimal integration of various biomaterials are practically unknown. Three principal fields of research can yield useful data to understand these phenomena better: studies on explanted biomaterials, animal models and relevant in vitro techniques. This paper will present examples of the latter field and the application of endothelial cell (EC) culture systems to study the effects of important tissue (e.g. pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines) and material (e.g. metal ions, particulate debris) factors on the regulation of the inflammatory and angiogenic response. A central feature is the use of microvascular endothelial cells (MEC), which can be used in both 2-and 3-dimensional (3-D) assays. We have also used genetic manipulation to develop a permanent MEC line from the human lung (HPMEC-ST1), which is being tested for its suitability to study cell-biomaterial interactions. In addition, suitable in vitro techniques are being developed in order to investigate drug delivery systems (DDS). Of particular interest is the targeting of the central nervous system, our approach being to establish a human model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A mainstay of our scientific philosophy is that such in vitro methods can make an important contribution to understanding biological reactions at the tissue-biomaterial interface and thus further a causal approach to tissue engineering (TE) and drug delivery applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalBiomolecular Engineering
Issue number2-6
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to express their gratitude to Susanne Barth, Angela Stieglitz and Marianne Müller for their excellent technical assistance and to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for their financial support within the priority programme SPP 322 1100, project KI 601/1-1.


  • Angiogenesis
  • Biomaterials
  • Endothelial cells
  • In vitro methods
  • Inflammation
  • Tissue engineering


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