The idea: exotic smoothness=matter is fascinating and cannot wiped off by the locality argument. A dynamical process is a submanifold of the spacetime. We found this page accidentally but had parallel ideas. In a recent paper geometrization of matter by exotic smoothness we realize the idea: matter = Casson handle, i.e. we showed that the action of the fermion and gauge fields follow from exotic smoothness by considering the structure of the Casson handle. In dimension 4 one has the special fact that a local change of the 4-manifold can change the smoothness, i.e. from the physical point of view we have a local theory.
Now some words about quantization:
In a paper Exotic smooth R^4, noncommutative algebras and quantization we found a close relation between codimension-1 foliations and exotic smoothness. Especially I'm interested in the question: given a 4-manifold with boundary, how can I detect exotic smoothness on the boundary? The answer is also strongly related to the exotic R^4 where one has also a kind of localization. Surprisingly we found an answer: on the boundary (i.e. a 3-manifold) one has a codimension-1 foliation and its cobordism class (detected by the Godbillon-Vey invariant) gives you the exotic smoothness class. But by Connes work, foliations are strongly connected to C* algebras and thus we have the link to QFT. In the paper above we construct an example for the exotic R^4 and show that this C* algebra appears by deformation quantization of a Poisson algebra, all details can be read there.