Uncontrolled complement activation can induce many inflammatory and life threatening conditions. Accordingly, the role of complement in initiation of adverse reactions to polymers and nanoparticulate drug carriers is receiving increasing attention and has prompted extensive ‘structure-immune performance’ relationship studies in nanomedicine research at many fronts. The interaction between nanomaterials and the complement system is complex and regulated by inter-related factors that include nanoscale size, morphology and surface characteristics. Each of these parameters may affect complement activation differently and through different sensing molecules and initiation pathways. The importance of material properties in triggering complement is considered and mechanistic aspects discussed. Mechanistic understanding of complement events could provide rational approaches for improved material design and nanoengineering strategies for clinical medicine.
- Acute allergic reactions