Macrophage polarization in response to ECM coated polypropylene mesh

Matthew T. Wolf, Christopher L. Dearth, Christian A. Ranallo, Samuel T. LoPresti, Lisa E. Carey, Kerry A. Daly, Bryan N. Brown, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


The host response to implanted biomaterials is a highly regulated process that influences device functionality and clinical outcome. Non-degradable biomaterials, such as knitted polypropylene mesh, frequently elicit a chronic foreign body reaction with resultant fibrosis. Previous studies have shown that an extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogel coating of polypropylene mesh reduces the intensity of the foreign body reaction, though the mode of action is unknown. Macrophage participation plays a key role in the development of the foreign body reaction to biomaterials, and therefore the present study investigated macrophage polarization following mesh implantation. Spatiotemporal analysis of macrophage polarization was conducted in response to uncoated polypropylene mesh and mesh coated with hydrated and dry forms of ECM hydrogels derived from either dermis or urinary bladder. Pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages (CD86+/CD68+), alternatively activated M2 macrophages (CD206+/CD68+), and foreign body giant cells were quantified between 3 and 35 days. Uncoated polypropylene mesh elicited a dominant M1 response at the mesh fiber surface, which was decreased by each ECM coating type beginning at 7 days. The diminished M1 response was accompanied by a reduction in the number of foreign body giant cells at 14 and 35 days, though there was a minimal effect upon the number of M2 macrophages at any time. These results show that ECM coatings attenuate the M1 macrophage response and increase the M2/M1 ratio to polypropylene mesh invivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6838-6849
Number of pages12
Issue number25
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • ECM (extracellular matrix)
  • Hydrogel
  • Macrophage
  • Polypropylene
  • Surgical mesh
  • Ventral hernia


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