An Immunomodulatory Miniaturized 3D Screening Platform Using Liquefied Capsules


A critical determinant of successful clinical outcomes is the host's response to the biomaterial. Therefore, the prediction of the immunomodulatory bioperformance of biomedical devices following implantation is of utmost importance. Herein, liquefied capsules are proposed as immunomodulatory miniaturized 3D platforms for the high-content combinatorial screening of different polymers that could be used generically in scaffolds. Additionally, the confined and liquefied core of capsules affords a cell-mediated 3D assembly with bioinstructive microplatforms, allowing to study the potential synergistic effect that cells in tissue engineering therapies have on the immunological environment before implantation. As a proof-of-concept, three different polyelectrolytes, ranging in charge density and source, are used. Poly(L-lysine)-, alginate-, and chitosan-ending capsules with or without encapsulated mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) are placed on top of a 2D culture of macrophages. Results show that chitosan-ending capsules, as well as the presence of MSCs, favor the balance of macrophage polarization toward a more regenerative profile, through the up-regulation of anti-inflammatory markers, and the release of pro-regenerative cytokines. Overall, the developed system enables the study of the immunomodulatory bioperformance of several polymers in a cost-effective and scalable fashion, while the paracrine signaling between encapsulated cells and the immunological environment can be simultaneously evaluated.

subject category

Engineering, Biomedical; Nanoscience & Nanotechnology; Materials Science, Biomaterials


Nadine, S; Correia, CR; Mano, JF

our authors


The authors acknowledge the financial support given by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) with the doctoral grant of Sara Nadine (SFRH/BD/130194/2017), the project CIRCUS (PTDC/BTM-MAT/31064/2017), and the European Research Council for the project ATLAS (ERC-2014-AdG-669858). This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement.

Share this project:

Related Publications

We use cookies for marketing activities and to offer you a better experience. By clicking “Accept Cookies” you agree with our cookie policy. Read about how we use cookies by clicking "Privacy and Cookie Policy".