Author(s): Thorgersen EB, Harboe M, Mollnes TE
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The main function of the complement system is pattern recognition of danger. Typical exogenous danger signals are pathogen associated molecular patterns inducing a protective inflammatory response. Other examples are exposure to foreign surfaces of biomedical materials including nanoparticles, which principally induce the same inflammatory response. If a surface is "foreign" to the host, it induces complement activation. Development of monoclonal antibodies to neoepitopes on complement activation products introduced an entirely new set of methods for assay of complement activation. Activation of complement by a surface occurs by impairment of the fine balance of the control system, e.g. by preferred binding of factor B at the expense of factor H. Sensitive methods to detect complement activation on surfaces and in the fluid phase are a prerequisite for investigation of the biocompatibility of artificial materials. This information can be used to develop new materials with enhanced biocompatibility. Here we review available methods to study human and animal complement function and activation in vitro and in vivo.
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This article was published in Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics