Polymer Science Faculty Research

Predicting biomaterial property-dendritic cell phenotype relationships from the multivariate analysis of responses to polymethacrylates

Abraham Joy, The University of Akron


Dendritic cells (DCs) play a critical role in orchestrating the host responses to a wide variety of foreign antigens and are essential in maintaining immune tolerance. Distinct biomaterials have been shown to differentially affect the phenotype of DCs, which suggested that biomaterials may be used to modulate immune response towards the biologic component in combination products. The elucidation of biomaterial property-DC phenotype relationships is expected to inform rational design of immuno-modulatory biomaterials. In this study, DC response to a set of 12 polymethacrylates (pMAs) was assessed in terms of surface marker expression and cytokine profile. Principal component analysis (PCA) determined that surface carbon correlated with enhanced DC maturation, while surface oxygen was associated with an immature DC phenotype. Partial square linear regression, a multivariate modeling approach, was implemented and successfully predicted biomaterial-induced DC phenotype in terms of surface marker expression from biomaterial properties with R2prediction = 0.76. Furthermore, prediction of DC phenotype was effective based on only theoretical chemical composition of the bulk polymers with R2prediction = 0.80. These results demonstrated that immune cell response can be predicted from biomaterial properties, and computational models will expedite future biomaterial design and selection.