Embracing nanomaterials' interactions with the innate immune system

Abraham J.P. Teunissen, Marianne E. Burnett, Geoffrey Prévot, Emma D. Klein, Daniel Bivona, Willem J.M. Mulder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Immunotherapy has firmly established itself as a compelling avenue for treating disease. Although many clinically approved immunotherapeutics engage the adaptive immune system, therapeutically targeting the innate immune system remains much less explored. Nanomedicine offers a compelling opportunity for innate immune system engagement, as many nanomaterials inherently interact with myeloid cells (e.g., monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, and dendritic cells) or can be functionalized to target their cell-surface receptors. Here, we provide a perspective on exploiting nanomaterials for innate immune system regulation. We focus on specific nanomaterial design parameters, including size, form, rigidity, charge, and surface decoration. Furthermore, we examine the potential of high-throughput screening and machine learning, while also providing recommendations for advancing the field. This article is categorized under: Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1719
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • innate immunotherapy
  • nanomaterials
  • nanomedicine
  • nanotherapeutics


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