Harnessing Innate Immunity Using Biomaterials for Cancer Immunotherapy

Dae Yong Lee, Kristin Huntoon, Yifan Wang, Wen Jiang, Betty Y.S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The discovery of immune checkpoint blockade has revolutionized the field of immuno-oncology and established the foundation for developing various new therapies that can surpass conventional cancer treatments. Most recent immunotherapeutic strategies have focused on adaptive immune responses by targeting T cell-activating pathways, genetic engineering of T cells with chimeric antigen receptors, or bispecific antibodies. Despite the unprecedented clinical success, these T cell-based treatments have only benefited a small proportion of patients. Thus, the need for the next generation of cancer immunotherapy is driven by identifying novel therapeutic molecules or new immunoengineered cells. To maximize the therapeutic potency via innate immunogenicity, the convergence of innate immunity-based therapy and biomaterials is required to yield an efficient index in clinical trials. This review highlights how biomaterials can efficiently reprogram and recruit innate immune cells in tumors and ultimately initiate activation of T cell immunity against advanced cancers. Moreover, the design and specific biomaterials that improve innate immune cells’ targeting ability to selectively activate immunogenicity with minimal adverse effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2007576
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 8 2021


  • adaptive immunity
  • biomaterials
  • cancer immunotherapy
  • innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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