Modulating macrophage responses to promote tissue regeneration by changing the formulation of bone extracellular matrix from filler particles to gel bioscaffolds Academic Article uri icon


  • Extracellular matrices (ECMs) derived from native tissues/organs have been used as biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in a wide range of preclinical and clinical settings. The success or failure of these applications is largely contingent on the host responses to the matrices in vivo. Despite retaining their native structural and functional proteins, bone ECM-based transplants have been reported to evoke adverse immune responses in many cases; thus, optimizing the immunomodulatory properties of bone ECMs is critical for ensuring downstream regenerative outcomes. Using a simple digestion-neutralization protocol, we transformed the commonly used bone-derived filler particles into gel bioscaffolds. Instead of inducing macrophages toward proinflammatory (M1) polarization, as reported in the literature and confirmed in the present study for ECM particles, the ECM gels were found to be more likely to polarize macrophages toward regulatory/anti-inflammatory (M2) phenotypes, leading to enhanced tissue regeneration in a rat periodontal defect model. The present work demonstrates a simple, practical and economical strategy to modify the immunomodulatory properties of bone ECMs before their in vivo transplantation and hence has important implications that may facilitate the use of ECM-based bioscaffolds derived from diverse sources of tissues for regenerative purposes.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, R., He, X., Zhu, J., Yin, Y., Li, X., Liu, X., & Chen, F.

citation count

  • 19

publication date

  • March 2019