An appropriate immune microenvironment, governed by macrophages, is essential for rapid tissue regeneration after biomaterial implantation. The macrophage phenotypes, M1 (inflammatory) and M2 (anti-inflammatory/healing), exert opposing effects on the repair of various tissues. In this study, a new strategy to promote tissue repair and tissue-to-biomaterial integration by M1-to-M2 macrophage transition using artificial apoptotic cell mimetics (phosphatidylserine liposomes; PSLs) was developed using bone as a model tissue. Titanium was also selected as a model substrate material because it is widely used for dental and orthopedic implants. Titanium implants were functionalized with multilayers via layer-by-layer assembly of cationic protamine and negatively charged PSLs that were chemically stabilized to prevent disruption of lipid bilayers. Samples carrying PSL multilayers could drive M1-type macrophages into M2-biased phenotypes, resulting in a dramatic change in macrophage secretion for tissue regeneration. In a rat femur implantation model, the PSL-multilayer-coated implant displayed augmented de novo bone formation and bone-to-implant integration, associated with an increased M1-to-M2-like phenotypic transition. This triggered the proper generation and activation of bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts relative to their uncoated counterparts. This study demonstrates the benefit of local M1-to-M2 macrophage polarization induced by PSL-multilayers constructed on implants for potent bone regeneration and bone-to-implant integration. The results of this study may help in the design of new immunomodulatory biomaterials. Statement of significance: Effective strategies for tissue regeneration are essential in the clinical practice. The macrophage phenotypes, M1 (inflammatory) and M2 (anti-inflammatory/healing), exert opposing effects on the repair of various tissues. Artificially produced phosphatidylserine-containing liposomes (PSLs) can induce M2 macrophage polarization by mimicking the inverted plasma membranes of apoptotic cells. This study demonstrates the advantages of local M1-to-M2 macrophage polarization induced by PSL-multilayers constructed on implants for effective bone regeneration and osseointegration (bone-to-implant integration). Mechanistically, M2 macrophages promote osteogenesis but inhibit osteoclastogenesis, and M1 macrophages vice versa. We believe that our study makes a significant contribution to the design of new immunomodulatory biomaterials for regenerative medicine because it is the first to validate the benefit of PSLs for tissue regeneration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Molecular Biology