Shape-Dependent Activation of Cytokine Secretion by Polymer Capsules in Human Monocyte-Derived Macrophages

Xi Chen, Yan Yan, Markus Müllner, Yuan Ping, Jiwei Cui, Kristian Kempe, Christina Cortez-Jugo, Frank Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Particles with tailored geometries have received significant attention due to their specific interactions with biological systems. In this work, we examine the effect of polymer capsule shape on cytokine secretion by human monocyte-derived macrophages. Thiolated poly(methacrylic acid) (PMASH) polymer capsules with different shapes (spherical, short rod-shaped, and long rod-shaped) were prepared by layer-by-layer assembly. The effect of PMASH capsule shape on cellular uptake and cytokine secretion by macrophages differentiated from THP-1 monocytes (dTHP-1) was investigated. PMASH capsules with different shapes were internalized to a similar extent in dTHP-1 cells. However, cytokine secretion was influenced by capsule geometry: short rod-shaped PMASH capsules promoted a stronger increase in TNF-α and IL-8 secretion compared with spherical (1.7-fold in TNF-α and 2.1-fold in IL-8) and long rod-shaped (2.8-fold in TNF-α and 2.0-fold in IL-8) PMASH capsules in dTHP-1 cells (capsule-to-cell ratio of 100:1). Our results indicate that the immunological response based on the release of cytokines is influenced by the shape of the polymer capsules, which could be potentially exploited in the rational design of particle carriers for vaccine delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1212
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

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