Synthetic Implants with Controlled Immune Response


Executive Summary

Polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) are commonly used as bioabsorbable materials for implants. Unfortunately, degradation products from these often promote adverse host immune responses in patients, which may require a secondary medical intervention such as surgery to remove the implant. To attempt to counter this, some implant technologies incorporate pH modifying ingredients, which ostensibly act by regulating the local acidity at the implant surface. However, this approach has not completely controlled the chronic inflammation associated with implanted materials. MSU researchers have recently discovered that metabolic reprogramming and altered bioenergetics is a key reason for adverse immune responses and have developed a novel means of reducing them by the incorporation of metabolic inhibitors into implanted materials.


Description of the Technology

This technology utilizes various small molecule inhibitors incorporated into the implant material to target metabolic pathways in key immune cells. The presence, and then release of these inhibitors during the breakdown of PLA-based implants, inhibits different steps of the glycolytic pathway and prevents undesired inflammation. A variety of types of inhibitors can be incorporated into the implant such as on the surface or dispersed in the material depending on the application. The implementation of these small molecule inhibitors into biomedical implants enables the safe application in soft- and hard- tissue regeneration, nanomedicine, and drug delivery. This technology has currently been demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo.



  • Results in less inflammation resulting from bioabsorbable implants
  • Potential to recruit stem cells for tissue regeneration
  • Applicable to both human and animal implants
  • Flexible design and formulation depending on application and implant size
  • Can be used for bone, cartilage, tendon, skin and other tissues
  • Prevents need for secondary surgery or medical intervention



  • Human orthopedics
  • Veterinary (including but not limited to equine, porcine, canine, feline) orthopedics
  • Sports medicine
  • Dental applications
  • Soft tissue regeneration
  • Ophthalmologic medications
  • Drug delivery


Patent Status

Patent pending


Licensing Rights

Full licensing rights available



Jan 12, 2023 ACS Article  

Oct 28, 2022 BioRxiv article



Dr. Chima Maduka, DVM, PhD, Dr. Christopher H. Contag, PhD




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jon Debling
Technology Manager
Michigan State University