The in vivo enrichment of dendritic cells (DCs) in implanted macroporous scaffolds is an emerging strategy to modulate the adaptive immune system. The pore architecture is potentially one of the key factors in controlling enrichment of DCs. However, there have been few studies examining the effects of scaffold pore structure on in vivo DC enrichment. Here we present the effects of surface porosity, pore size, and pore volume of macroporous poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) scaffolds encapsulating granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), an inflammatory chemoattractant, on the in vivo enrichment of DCs. Although in vitro cell seeding studies using PLG scaffolds without GM-CSF showed higher cell infiltration in scaffolds with higher surface porosity, in vivo results revealed higher DC enrichment in GM-CSF loaded PLG scaffolds with lower surface porosity despite a similar level of GM-CSF released. The diminished compressive modulus of high surface porosity scaffolds compared to low surface porosity scaffolds lead to the significant shrinkage of these scaffolds in vivo, suggesting that the mechanical strength of scaffolds was critical to maintain a porous structure in vivo for accumulating DCs. The pore volume was also found to be important in total number of recruited cells and DCs in vivo. Varying the pore size significantly impacted the total number of cells, but similar numbers of DCs were found as long as the pore size was above 10-32 μm. Collectively, these results suggested that one can modulate in vivo enrichment of DCs by altering the pore architecture and mechanical properties of PLG scaffolds.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
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