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Hongji Yan, postdoctoral researcher in the group is the lead author of “Immune‐Informed Mucin Hydrogels Evade Fibrotic Foreign Body Response In Vivo.” Advanced Functional Materials 14 (September): 1902581. along with several other authors including

  • Cédric Seignez and Mia Phillipson, from Uppsala university that contributed with in vivo work.
  • Morgan Hjorth, Matthew Blakeley from our group that helped with RT-PCR and imaging
  • Benjamin Winkeljann and Oliver Lieleg from TU Munich that helped with rheology.

A beautiful collaboration that lead to what we believe is an important landmark paper, establishing mucin-based materials as bioactive and immune-modulating. The manuscript describes how mucin-materials impact the recruitment and activity of immune cells when implanted in mice. It also show that the mucin-materials avoid the fibrous encapsulation that implants typically undergo when left from more than 2 weeks in a host.

This work is important for at least two reasons.

  1. We hope this work will inspire many others to consider mucins and mucin-like molecules as a building blocks to construct the next generations of bioactive, bio-informed materials that provide both the physical and the biological features needed for advanced functionalities.
  2. The evasion of fibrosis of mucin-hydrogel is an interesting feature that can be directly used to improve the outcome of long-term medical implants. This includes electrodes, sensors, and encapsulated cells.

Further work is now being done to test the functionalities of other materials derived from mucins and test whether mucins gels can sustain the survival of cells in the gel for extended periods of time.

The paper is accessible from the publisher’s website, and a pre-print version on BioRxiv.

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