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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science
Project grant

An iPSC based xeno-free platform to assess the foreign body response against new biomaterials


At a glance

Pending start
Award date
October 2023 - September 2026
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Professor Amir Ghaemmaghami


University of Nottingham


  • Replacement



This award aims to develop a stem cell-based microfluidic device to investigate adverse immune responses to implantable medical devices and replace the use of some animals in biomaterial development and safety studies.

Implantable medical devices are increasingly used in healthcare but can be targeted by the immune system as foreign objects. Implants such as cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants and deep brain neurostimulators can cause inflammation and fibrosis and may require corrective surgeries. Research to investigate the immunogenicity of biomaterials largely relies on animal models as existing in vitro models poorly predict human tissue behaviours. Professor Amir Ghaemmaghami will develop a microfluidics-based tissue model by differentiating human pluripotent stem cells into the various key cell types that contribute to inflammation and fibrosis, including endothelial cells, fibroblasts, macrophages and T cells. This ‘foreign-body-on-chip’ will capture the immune events in response to implanted devices, including recruitment of circulating immune cells, immune cell migration through blood vessels and connective tissues and their interactions with other cell types. Amir will build confidence in the model by comparing data to existing results from in vivo models for a range of clinically relevant biomaterials.