Drug delivery and tissue engineering to promote wound healing in the immunocompromised host: Current challenges and future directions

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As regenerative medicine matures as a field, more promising technologies are being translated from the benchtop to the clinic. However, many of these strategies are designed with otherwise healthy hosts in mind and validated in animal models without other co-morbidities. In reality, many of the patient populations benefiting from drug delivery and tissue engineering-based devices to enhance wound healing also have significant underlying immunodeficiency. Specifically, patients suffering from diabetes, malignancy, human immunodeficiency virus, post-organ transplantation, and other compromised states have significant pleotropic immune defects that affect wound healing. In this work, we review the role of different immune cells in the regenerative process, highlight the effect of several common immunocompromised states on wound healing, and discuss different drug delivery strategies for overcoming immunodeficiencies.

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