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Biomaterials. 2014 Feb;35(7):2089-2096. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.11.040. Epub 2013 Dec 14.

Optical imaging of fibrin deposition to elucidate participation of mast cells in foreign body responses.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, USA.
Department of Biomedical Science and Environmental Biology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan.
Contributed equally


Mast cell activation has been shown to be an initiator and a key determinant of foreign body reactions. However, there is no non-invasive method that can quantify the degree of implant-associated mast cell activation. Taking advantage of the fact that fibrin deposition is a hallmark of mast cell activation around biomaterial implants, a near infrared probe was fabricated to have high affinity to fibrin. Subsequent in vitro testing confirmed that this probe has high affinity to fibrin. Using a subcutaneous particle implantation model, we found significant accumulation of fibrin-affinity probes at the implant sites as early as 15 min following particle implantation. The accumulation of fibrin-affinity probes at the implantation sites could also be substantially reduced if anti-coagulant - heparin was administered at the implant sites. Further studies have shown that subcutaneous administration of mast cell activator - compound 48/80 - prompted the accumulation of fibrin-affinity probes. However, implant-associated fibrin-affinity probe accumulation was substantially reduced in mice with mast cell deficiency. The results show that our fibrin-affinity probes may serve as a powerful tool to monitor and measure the extent of biomaterial-mediated fibrin deposition and mast cell activation in vivo.


Biocompatibility; Biomaterial; Fibrin; Inflammation; In vivo imaging; Near infrared fluorescence

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