For in vivo determination of innate and memory immune reactions we have implanted sterile gelatin sponges subcutaneously in swine for the monitoring of the following immunological parameters: 1. Analysis of local cell population phenotypes after vascularization of the gelatin sponges using flow cytometry. 2. Comparative analysis of sponge-infiltrating cells after loading with viral antigen in primed as well as naive animals. 3. Performance of reverse transcription quantitative competitive PCR (RT-qcPCR) for the detection of porcine cytokine mRNA indicative for IFN-gamma, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8 and IL-10. The in vitro analysis, e.g. by re-exposure to viral antigens, allows the determination of cytokine reaction patterns of sponge derived cells, draining lymph node cells as well as PBMC of the same individual. Studies of innate reactions and modulation of cellular infiltration in transplanted gelatin sponges are possible. Functional assays, e.g. cell-mediated cytotoxicity, antigen specific cell proliferation, using sponge-derived cells will provide additional information about the suitability of the model for example in vaccine potency tests.