Send to

Choose Destination
Biomaterials. 2017 Oct;142:52-61. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

Enrichment of endogenous fractalkine and anti-inflammatory cells via aptamer-functionalized hydrogels.

Author information

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.
Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. Electronic address:


Early recruitment of non-classical monocytes and their macrophage derivatives is associated with augmented tissue repair and improved integration of biomaterial constructs. A promising therapeutic approach to recruit these subpopulations is by elevating local concentrations of chemoattractants such as fractalkine (FKN, CX3CL1). However, delivering recombinant or purified proteins is not ideal due to their short half-lives, suboptimal efficacy, immunogenic potential, batch variabilities, and cost. Here we report an approach to enrich endogenous FKN, obviating the need for delivery of exogenous proteins. In this study, modified FKN-binding-aptamers are integrated with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate to form aptamer-functionalized hydrogels ("aptagels") that localize, dramatically enrich and passively release FKN in vitro for at least one week. Implantation in a mouse model of excisional skin injury demonstrates that aptagels enrich endogenous FKN and stimulate significant local increases in Ly6CloCX3CR1hi non-classical monocytes and CD206+ M2-like macrophages. The results demonstrate that orchestrators of inflammation can be manipulated without delivery of foreign proteins or cells and FKN-aptamer functionalized biomaterials may be a promising approach to recruit anti-inflammatory subpopulations to sites of injury. Aptagels are readily synthesized, highly customizable and could combine different aptamers to treat complex diseases in which regulation or enrichment of multiple proteins may be therapeutic.


Aptamer; Endogenous; Fractalkine; Inflammation; Macrophage; Monocyte

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center