Harnessing macrophage plasticity for tissue regeneration

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Macrophages are versatile and plastic effector cells of the immune system, and contribute to diverse immune functions including pathogen or apoptotic cell removal, inflammatory activation and resolution, and tissue healing. Macrophages function as signaling regulators and amplifiers, and influencing their activity is a powerful approach for controlling inflammation or inducing a wound-healing response in regenerative medicine. This review discusses biomaterials-based approaches for altering macrophage activity, approaches for targeting drugs to macrophages, and approaches for delivering macrophages themselves as a therapeutic intervention.

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