AbstractDendritic cells (DC) have a pivotal role during inflammation. DC efficiently present antigens to T cells and shape the subsequent immune response by the secretion of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines and by the expression of co-stimulatory molecules. They respond to “danger signals” such as microbial products or fragments from necrotic cells or tissues, but were also described to be reactive towards biomaterials. However, how mechanical and physical properties of the subjacent substrate influences the DC activation is currently poorly understood. In this study micro patterned inserts prepared from polystyrene (PS) as well as from poly (ether imide) (PEI) with three different roughness levels of i) Rq = 0.29 μm (PS) and 0.23 μm (PEI); ii) Rq = 3.47 μm (PS) and 3.92 μm (PEI); and iii) Rq = 22.16 μm (PS) and 22.65 μm (PEI) were analyzed for their capacity to influence the activation of human monocytes derived DC. Since the DC were directly cultured in the inserts, the effects of the testing material alone could be investigated and influences from additional culture dish material could be excluded. The viability, the expression of the DC activation markers, and their cytokine/chemokine secretion were determined after the incubation with the different inserts in vitro. Both the PS and the PEI inserts did not influence the survival of the DC and their expression of co-stimulatory molecules. The expression of inflammatory cytokines was not altered by the PEI and PS inserts. However, the secretion of chemokines such as CCL2, CCL3, and CCL4 was influenced by the different roughness levels, indicating that material roughness has the capacity to modulate the DC phenotype. The data presented here will help to understand the interaction of DC with structured polymer surfaces. Biomaterial-induced immuno-modulatory effects mediated by DC may promote tissue regeneration or could potentially reduce inflammation caused by the implant material.