The significance of macrophage phenotype in cancer and biomaterials

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Bygd, Hannah
Forsmark, Kiva
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Bratlie, Kaitlin
Associate Professor
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering teaches the composition, microstructure, and processing of materials as well as their properties, uses, and performance. These fields of research utilize technologies in metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and electronic materials.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering was formed in 1975 from the merger of the Department of Ceramics Engineering and the Department of Metallurgical Engineering.

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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Macrophages have long been known to exhibit heterogeneous and plastic phenotypes. They show functional diversity with roles in homeostasis, tissue repair, immunity and disease. There exists a spectrum of macrophage phenotypes with varied effector functions, molecular determinants, cytokine and chemokine profiles, as well as receptor expression. In tumor microenvironments, the subset of macrophages known as tumor-associated macrophages generates byproducts that enhance tumor growth and angiogenesis, making them attractive targets for anti-cancer therapeutics. With respect to wound healing and the foreign body response, there is a necessity for balance between pro-inflammatory, wound healing, and regulatory macrophages in order to achieve successful implantation of a scaffold for tissue engineering. In this review, we discuss the multitude of ways macrophages are known to be important in cancer therapies and implanted biomaterials.


This article is published as Bygd, Hannah C., Kiva D. Forsmark, and Kaitlin M. Bratlie. "The significance of macrophage phenotype in cancer and biomaterials." Clinical and translational medicine 3, no. 1 (2014): 62, doi:10.1186/s40169-014-0041-2. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2014