Research ArticleBIOMATERIALS

Regulation of dendrimer/dextran material performance by altered tissue microenvironment in inflammation and neoplasia

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Science Translational Medicine  28 Jan 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 272, pp. 272ra11
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa1616

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Location, location, location

When buying a house, we research neighborhoods and carefully choose an environment that fits our personality. So why does a “one-material-fits-all” mentality dominate when choosing a biomaterial for various clinical scenarios? Now, Oliva et al. attempt to shift that mindset by defining the molecular properties of diseased-tissue microenvironments and then tuning a dendrimer/dextran–based material to thrive differentially under selected clinical conditions. By measuring tissue modifications and material performance—in two gut diseases and under varying degrees of severity—the authors unveiled contextual effects on the compatibility between a biomaterial and its neighborhood. These findings drove development of a predictive paradigm that matches a material with its model home—a practice that may one day translate to improved clinical outcomes.