Implanted materials including drug delivery devices and chemical sensors undergo what is termed the foreign body reaction (FBR). Depending on the device and its intended application, the FBR can have differing consequences. An extensive scientific research effort has been devoted to elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive the FBR. Important, yet relatively unexplored, research includes the localized tissue biochemistry and the chemical signaling events that occur throughout the FBR. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms of the FBR, describes how the FBR affects different implanted devices, and illustrates the role that microdialysis sampling can play in further elucidating the chemical communication processes that drive FBR outcomes.