Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that is usually associated with a systemic infection that leads to multiorgan system failure.
In the United States, at least 1.7 million adults develop sepsis each year and about 270,000 of them would die as a result of sepsis. One in three patients who dies in a hospital has sepsis. In other parts of the world, sepsis is even more prevalent. In 2017, an estimated 48.9 million incident cases of sepsis were recorded worldwide and 11 million sepsis-related deaths were reported, representing 19·7% of all global deaths.
Although often triggered by an infection, the cause of sepsis is due to the dysregulated host response to the infection. Despite the fact that sepsis has remained a significant health care issue, no current available treatments for sepsis exist. The treatment of a septic patient consists of mainly supportive care with antibiotics, fluids and vasopressors to treat the hypotension. The reason of lacking treatment for sepsis is due to the fact that it is a multifactorial disease caused by the host’s immune response to the infection and so far, there is no one single target that can resolve the problem. Macrophages have the ability to absorb significant amount of the pro-inflammatory cytokines that worsen sepsis. However, during sepsis, macrophages also play a proinflammatory role in order to kill off the bacteria.
A macrophage nanosponge is a potential valuable treatment for sepsis. It can absorb bacterial toxins and also help neutralize the excess pro-inflammatory cytokines in a patient with sepsis. Early animal models have also demonstrated that macrophage nanosponge is effective in the management of sepsis.