Determination of the ability of a medical device to interact with the immune system currently involves assessment of the immunogenic potential and biocompatibility of the device or an extract of the device. However, implants are often in the body for extended periods of time and/or are placed by a surgical procedure that in and of itself will generate an acute inflammatory response. This symposium discussed studies that have been performed to evaluate the immunogenicity of various devices consisting of several different compositions (i.e., silicone, metals, and latex) in contact with different anatomical sites, the ability of a device to modulate an inflammatory response generated by a surgical procedure or trauma, and the response of the body to a material left in place for extended periods of time. This symposium brought together scientists from many different disciplines to begin to identify and fill in the gaps in this area.
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