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Foreign body responses in central nervous system mimic natural wound responses and alter biomaterial functions

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Biomaterials hold promise for diverse therapeutic applications in the central nervous system (CNS). Little is known about molecular factors that determine CNS foreign body responses (FBRs) in vivo , or about how such responses influence biomaterial function. Here, we probed these factors using a platform of injectable hydrogels readily modified to present interfaces with different representative physiochemical properties to host cells. We show that biomaterial FBRs mimic specialized multicellular CNS wound responses not present in peripheral tissues, which serve to isolate damaged neural tissue and restore barrier functions. Moreover, we found that the nature and intensity of CNS FBRs are determined by definable properties. For example, cationic, anionic or nonionic interfaces with CNS cells elicit quantifiably different levels of stromal cell infiltration, inflammation, neural damage and amyloid production. The nature and intensity of FBRs significantly influenced hydrogel resorption and molecular delivery functions. These results characterize specific molecular mechanisms that drive FBRs in the CNS and have important implications for developing effective biomaterials for CNS applications.

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