Predicting in vivo responses to biomaterials via combined in vitro and in silico analysis

Matthew T. Wolf, Yoram Vodovotz, Stephen Tottey, Bryan N. Brown, Stephen F. Badylak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The host response to both synthetic and biologically derived biomaterials is a temporally regulated, complex process that involves multiple interacting cell types. This complexity has classically limited the efficacy of in vitro assays for predicting the in vivo outcome, necessitating the use of costly animal models for biomaterial development. The present study addressed these challenges by developing an in vitro assay that characterized the dynamic inflammatory response of human monocyte-derived-macrophages to biomaterials, coupled with quasi-mechanistic analysis in silico analysis: principal component analysis (PCA) and dynamic network analysis (DyNA). Synthetic and extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived materials were evaluated using this method, and were then associated with the in vivo remodeling and macrophage polarization response in a rodent skeletal muscle injury model. PCA and DyNA revealed a distinct in vitro macrophage response to ECM materials that corresponded to constructive remodeling and an increased M2 macrophage presence in vivo. In contrast, PCA and DyNA suggested a response to crosslinked ECM and synthetic materials characteristic of a foreign body reaction and dominant M1 macrophage response. These results suggest that in silico analysis of an in vitro macrophage assay may be useful as a predictor for determining the in vivo host response to implanted biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-159
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


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