The development of more effective biomaterials for tissue repair aims to minimise the foreign body response by modulating immune cell function. We have developed a novel bioactive device coating for local and lasting modulation of the inflammatory response to implants, which overcomes the deficiencies of previous work.
A recent in vivo study, published in JACC: Basic to Translational Science (Tan et al, 2019) showed that these coatings can improve the performance outcomes of synthetic vascular grafts. We employ a plasma ion surface activation technique which facilitates the covalent attachment of biomolecules while preserving their bioactivity.
Furthermore, we have identified key regulators of macrophage recruitment and polarisation for bioactive surface functionalisation. Bioactive signalling chemokines have not previously been immobilised on materials surfaces, representing a fundamentally new approach to local inflammation regulation. This project is in collaboration with A/Prof Bob Bao (The University of Sydney) and Prof Marcela Bilek (School of Physics, The University of Sydney).