Immunomodulatory ECM-like Microspheres for Accelerated Bone Regeneration in Diabetes Mellitus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bone repair and regeneration process is markedly impaired in diabetes mellitus (DM) that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. As a chronic inflammatory disease, DM creates a proinflammatory microenvironment in defective sites. Most of the studies on DM-associated bone regeneration, however, neglect the importance of immunomodulation under the DM condition and adopt the same approaches to normal bone healing, leading to limited bone healing. In this study, we developed a unique bioinspired injectable microsphere as an osteoimmunomodulatory biomaterial that modulates macrophages to create a prohealing microenvironment under the DM condition. The microsphere was self-assembled with heparin-modified gelatin nanofibers, and interleukin 4 (IL4) was incorporated into the nanofibrous heparin-modified gelatin microsphere (NHG-MS). IL4 has binding domains with heparin, and the binding of IL4 to heparin stabilizes this cytokine, protects it from denaturation and degradation, and subsequently prolongs its sustained release to modulate macrophage polarization. The IL4-loaded NHG-MS switched the proinflammatory M1 macrophage into a prohealing M2 phenotype, recovered the M2/M1 ratio to a normal level, efficiently resolved the inflammation, and ultimately enhanced osteoblastic differentiation and bone regeneration. The development of osteoimmunomodulatory biomaterials that harness the power of macrophages for immunomodulation, therefore, is a novel and promising strategy to enhance bone regeneration under DM condition.

published proceedings

  • ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Hu, Z., Ma, C., Rong, X., Zou, S., & Liu, X.

citation count

  • 80

complete list of authors

  • Hu, Zhiai||Ma, Chi||Rong, Xin||Zou, Shujuan||Liu, Xiaohua

publication date

  • January 2018