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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (78)
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research
- Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Lab on a Chip
- Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids
- Tissue Engineering
- International Journal of Pharmaceutics
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Tissue Engineering
- Lab on a Chip
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Tissue Engineering
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews
- Acta Biomaterialia
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Biomedical Materials (Bristol, England)
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews
- Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids
- Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews
- Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany)
- Journal of Biomechanical Engineering
- Journal of Orthopaedic Research : Official Publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society
- Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
- Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference
- Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference
- ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
- Soft Matter
- Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany)
- Journal of the American Chemical Society
- Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A
- Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.)
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Macromolecular Bioscience
- Macromolecular Bioscience
- PloS One
- Acta Biomaterialia
- ACS Nano
- Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.)
- Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
- The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Nature Methods
- Biotechnology and Bioengineering
- Tissue Engineering. Part A
- Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
- Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
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Articles by Jason A. Burdick in JoVE
Electrospinning Stapel-Polymer Stellingen voor Tissue Engineering en Cell Culture
Jamie L. Ifkovits, Harini G. Sundararaghavan, Jason A. Burdick
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
Het proces van electrospinning polymeren voor tissue engineering en cel cultuur wordt behandeld in dit artikel. In het bijzonder, is de electrospinning van fotoreactieve macromers met extra verwerkingsmogelijkheden van photopatterning en multi-polymeer electrospinning beschreven.
Other articles by Jason A. Burdick on PubMed
An Investigation of the Cytotoxicity and Histocompatibility of in Situ Forming Lactic Acid Based Orthopedic Biomaterials
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12209891
The cytotoxicity and biocompatibility of polymer networks prefabricated from multifunctional lactic acid based oligomers that are being developed for orthopedic applications were assessed through in vitro cytotoxicity analysis and subcutaneous implantation. After 7 and 14 days, no significant difference was observed in the relative viability or alkaline phosphatase activity of primary rat calvarial osteoblasts cultured in the presence or absence of degrading polymer networks, indicating that the degradation products had no detrimental effect on the function or activity of the cultured cells. The tissue response to preformed lactic acid networks implanted in rats consisted of a mild inflammatory response with an increase in fibrous capsule thickness and inflammation correlating with faster degrading polymer compositions. This relatively neutral response is indicative of a biocompatible, degradable polymer that has potential medical applications. Finally, porous scaffolds were implanted subcutaneously in rats, and vascularized fibrous tissue infiltration was highly dependent on the scaffold porosity and architecture. This finding indicates that an in situ forming porous scaffold of this composition may support the infiltration of surrounding vascularized tissue, and thus be applicable to orthopedic treatments of large bone defects.
Photoencapsulation of Osteoblasts in Injectable RGD-modified PEG Hydrogels for Bone Tissue Engineering
Biomaterials. Nov, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12219821
Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels were investigated as encapsulation matrices for osteoblasts to assess their applicability in promoting bone tissue engineering. Non-adhesive hydrogels were modified with adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide sequences to facilitate the adhesion, spreading, and, consequently, cytoskeletal organization of rat calvarial osteoblasts. When attached to hydrogel surfaces, the density and area of osteoblasts attached were dramatically different between modified and unmodified hydrogels. A concentration dependence of RGD groups was observed, with increased osteoblast attachment and spreading with higher RGD concentrations, and cytoskeleton organization was seen with only the highest peptide density. A majority of the osteoblasts survived the photoencapsulation process when gels were formed with 10% macromer, but a decrease in osteoblast viability of approximately 25% and 38% was seen after 1 day of in vitro culture when the macromer concentration was increased to 20 and 30wt%, respectively. There was no statistical difference in cell viability when peptides were added to the network. Finally, mineral deposits were seen in all hydrogels after 4 weeks of in vitro culture, but a significant increase in mineralization was observed upon introduction of adhesive peptides throughout the network.
Delivery of Osteoinductive Growth Factors from Degradable PEG Hydrogels Influences Osteoblast Differentiation and Mineralization
Journal of Controlled Release : Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society. Sep, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12220838
Degradable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels with varying mass loss profiles were investigated to assess their applicability as delivery vehicles for osteoinductive growth factors in bone tissue engineering. Protein release is readily controlled by changes in both the structure (i.e., macromer concentration) and chemistry (i.e., number of degradable units) of the starting macromer. In vitro studies indicate an increase in total protein levels, alkaline phosphatase, and mineralization by osteoblasts cultured in the presence of osteoinductive growth factors compared to cells cultured with standard media. When growth factors are delivered from a 25 wt% hydrogel, a significant increase in both alkaline phosphatase and mineralization was seen after 3 weeks of culture over growth factor delivery in a bolus fashion. Additionally, gene expression levels of both osteocalcin and type I collagen were higher at early timepoints when growth factors were released from hydrogels. These results indicate that growth factors remain active after photoencapsulation, that the sustained delivery of growth factors alters various markers of osteoblastic differentiation, and that these networks could be useful as delivery vehicles for growth factors in bone tissue engineering. Finally, ectopic bone formation was present in subcutaneous rat tissue after implantation of hydrogel networks loaded with osteoinductive growth factors.
Histocompatibility of Photocrosslinked Polyanhydrides: a Novel in Situ Forming Orthopaedic Biomaterial
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Jan, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12483697
Cell-polymer interactions in subcutaneous and bony tissue were examined for a novel class of in situ forming and surface eroding polyanhydride networks. Specifically, photopolymerized disks of several polyanhydride compositions were implanted subcutaneously in rats, and the tissue was analyzed for an inflammatory response. The compositions elicited varied histological responses, ranging from highly active cell layers to moderate fibrous capsules, depending on the degrading polymer composition. Furthermore, one composition was photopolymerized in a model orthopaedic defect in the proximal tibia. The feasibility of photopolymerizing the methacrylated monomers in situ and the adherence of the photocrosslinked polyanhydride to the medullary canal were examined.
Kinetic Chain Lengths in Highly Cross-linked Networks Formed by the Photoinitiated Polymerization of Divinyl Monomers: a Gel Permeation Chromatography Investigation
Biomacromolecules. Jan-Feb, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12523860
Highly cross-linked networks formed by the photoinitiated polymerization of multifunctional monomers are finding application in the field of biomaterials because of their chemical versatility, reaction control, and ability to polymerize under physiological conditions. Typically, degradation is introduced into these networks via the cross-links and leads to the release of nondegradable but water-soluble kinetic chains formed during the chain polymerization process. In this study, gel permeation chromatography (GPC) was used to characterize kinetic chain length distributions in highly cross-linked systems that are being developed for orthopedic applications. By polymerizing divinyl monomers to various conversions and subsequently degrading them, we investigated the aspects of network structural evolution related to kinetic chain formation. In general, the average kinetic chain length increased with conversion until the onset of autodeceleration, when the kinetic chains decreased in length as the propagation reaction became diffusion-controlled. The distribution of kinetic chains also changed when different initiation conditions (i.e., initiator concentration and incident light intensity) were used, and a decrease in the kinetic chain lengths was observed at higher initiation rates. Finally, kinetic chain lengths were examined as a function of depth in thick samples polymerized with different light intensities and with a photobleaching initiator. Light attenuation through the sample led to different initiation rates as a function of depth and, consequently, spatial heterogeneity in the network structure as measured by the distributions of kinetic chains.
An Initial Investigation of Photocurable Three-dimensional Lactic Acid Based Scaffolds in a Critical-sized Cranial Defect
Biomaterials. Apr, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12559821
Degradable polymer networks formed by the photoinitiated polymerization of multifunctional monomers have great potential as in situ forming materials, especially for bone tissue engineering. In this study, one specific chemistry was analyzed with respect to bone formation in a critical-sized defect model with and without adsorbed osteoinductive growth factors present. The scaffolds degraded in approximately 8 months and possessed an elastic modulus similar to that of trabecular bone. A porous scaffold fabricated with approximately 80% porosity and pore diameters ranging from 45 to 150 mm was implanted in a critical-sized cranial defect in rats. When implanted alone, the scaffolds were filled primarily with fibrous tissue after 9 weeks with only mild inflammation at the defect site. When the scaffolds released osteoinductive growth factors, statistically more bone filled the scaffold. For instance, 65.8+/-9.4% (n=5) of the defects were filled with radiopaque tissue in the osteoinductive releasing scaffolds, whereas only 24.2+/-7.4% (n=5) of the defects were filled in the untreated defects 9 weeks after implantation. These results illustrate not only the benefits of delivering osteoinductive factors when developing synthetic bone grafts, but the potential of these materials for supporting the infiltration and development of bone in large defects.
Biomaterials. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12695075
Diethylene glycol was used to initiate the ring opening polymerization of D,L-lactide and epsilon -caprolactone, as well as combinations of the two monomers. Esterification of the oligomer end groups with methacryloyl chloride led to divinyl terminated macromers that were reacted via photoinitiated polymerizations to produce crosslinked networks. The lactic and/or caproic acid repeat units can be hydrolyzed under physiological conditions, leading to degradable networks that may be useful for tissue engineering applications. Specifically, methacryloyl terminated poly(lactic acid-co-caproic acid) diethylene glycol based oligomers were prepared and characterized by 1H NMR. The number of ester linkages was kept constant while the ratio of lactic:caproic acid segments was varied. These macromers were then photopolymerized at 450 nm using a visible light initiating system to produce crosslinked degradable networks. The kinetics of the polymerizations were followed by DSC, and the dynamic mechanical behavior was monitored as a function of temperature to obtain the T(g) for each network composition. 1mm thick disks were subjected to hydrolytic degradation in an aqueous phosphate buffer solution at a pH=7.4 and 37 degrees C. The changes in the compressive modulus, as well as the % mass loss as a function of time, were recorded. Cellular compatibility was determined by seeding primary rat calverial osteoblast cells onto the disks and characterizing the cell morphology using scanning electron microscopy.
Lab on a Chip. Oct, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15472725
The ability to control the deposition and location of adherent and non-adherent cells within microfluidic devices is beneficial for the development of micro-scale bioanalytical tools and high-throughput screening systems. Here, we introduce a simple technique to fabricate poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG) microstructures within microfluidic channels that can be used to dock cells within pre-defined locations. Microstructures of various shapes were used to capture and shear-protect cells despite medium flow in the channel. Using this approach, PEG microwells were fabricated either with exposed or non-exposed substrates. Proteins and cells adhered within microwells with exposed substrates, while non-exposed substrates prevented protein and cell adhesion (although the cells were captured inside the features). Furthermore, immobilized cells remained viable and were stained for cell surface receptors by sequential flow of antibodies and secondary fluorescent probes. With its unique strengths in utility and control, this approach is potentially beneficial for the development of cell-based analytical devices and microreactors that enable the capture and real-time analysis of cells within microchannels, irrespective of cell anchorage properties.
Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Jun, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15986641
A method of fabricating photo-cross-linked hydrogels with gradients of immobilized molecules and crosslinking densities is introduced. Two macromer/initiator solutions are injected into a unique poly(dimethylsiloxane) channel system that produces a prepolymer gradient that is subsequently polymerized into a water-swollen hydrogel with ultraviolet light exposure. The gradient is controlled by the injection flow rate (optimized to 0.3 microL/min per inlet to produce a linear gradient). The technique is investigated both through fabrication of adhesive ligand gradients that modulate spatial distribution of attached endothelial cells and gradients of cross-linking densities that led to unique hydrogel architectures and spatially dependent swelling.
Biomacromolecules. Jan-Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15638543
Hyaluronic acid is a natural polysaccharide found abundantly throughout the body with many desirable properties for application as a biomaterial, including scaffolding for tissue engineering. In this work, hyaluronic acid with molecular weights ranging from 50 to 1100 kDa was modified with methacrylic anhydride and photopolymerized into networks with a wide range of physical properties. With macromer concentrations from 2 to 20 wt %, networks exhibited volumetric swelling ratios ranging from approximately 42 to 8, compressive moduli ranging from approximately 2 to over 100 kPa, and degradation times ranging from less than 1 day up to almost 38 days in the presence of 100 U/mL of hyaluronidase. When 3T3-fibroblasts were photoencapsulated in the hydrogels, cells remained viable with low macromer concentrations but decreased sequentially as the macromer concentration increased. Finally, auricular swine chondrocytes produced neocartilage when photoencapsulated in the hyaluronic acid networks. This work presents a next step toward the development of advanced in vivo curable biomaterials.
Neurotrophin-induced Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells on Three-dimensional Polymeric Scaffolds
Tissue Engineering. Mar-Apr, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15869429
Human embryonic stem (hES) cells have the potential to form various cell types, including neural cells for the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson's, spinal cord injury, and glaucoma. Here, we have investigated the neuronal differentiation of hES cells on three-dimensional scaffolds fabricated from degradable poly(alpha-hydroxy esters) including poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and poly(L-lactic acid). When cultured in vitro, neural rosette-like structures developed throughout the scaffolds with differentiation dependent on factors in the medium (e.g., retinoic acid [RA], nerve growth factor [NGF], and neurotrophin 3 [NT-3]) and the differentiation stage of the cells. Specifically, enhanced numbers of neural structures and staining of nestin (a marker of neural precursors) and beta(III)-tubulin (indicative of neural differentiation) were observed with hES cell-seeded polymer scaffolds when cultured with both NGF and NT-3 when compared with control medium. In addition, vascular structures were found throughout the engineered tissues when cultured with the neurotrophins, but not in the presence of RA.
Poly(ester-anhydride):poly(beta-amino Ester) Micro- and Nanospheres: DNA Encapsulation and Cellular Transfection
International Journal of Pharmaceutics. Nov, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16174553
Poly(ester-anhydride) delivery devices allow flexibility regarding carrier dimensions (micro- versus nanospheres), degradation rate (anhydride versus ester hydrolysis), and surface labeling (through the anhydride functional unit), and were therefore tested for DNA encapsulation and transfection of a macrophage P388D1 cell line. Poly(l-lactic acid-co-sebacic anhydride) and poly(l-lactic acid-co-adipic anhydride) were synthesized through melt condensation, mixed with 25 wt.% poly(beta-amino ester), and formulated with plasmid DNA (encoding firefly luciferase) into micro- and nanospheres using a double emulsion/solvent evaporation technique. The micro- and nanospheres were then characterized (size, morphology, zeta potential, DNA release) and assayed for DNA encapsulation and cellular transfection over a range of poly(ester-anhydride) copolymer ratios. Poly(ester-anhydride):poly(beta-amino ester) composite microspheres (6-12 microm) and nanospheres (449-1031 nm), generated with copolymers containing between 0 and 25% total polyanhydride content, encapsulated plasmid DNA (>or=20% encapsulation efficiency). Within this polyanhydride range, poly(adipic anhydride) copolymers provided DNA encapsulation at an increased anhydride content (10%, microspheres; 10-25%, nanospheres) compared to poly(sebacic anhydride) copolymers (1%, microspheres and nanospheres) with cellular transfection correlating with the observed DNA encapsulation.
Biomaterials. Jan, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15207458
This report presents the formulation and surface modification of poly(ester-anhydride) copolymers. Two synthetic schemes were used to generate a variety of copolymers with varying compositions and molecular weights. These polymers were formulated into both micro- and nanospheres using a water-in-oil-in-water double emulsion technique. Microspheres were between 3 and 10 microm in diameter; whereas, nanospheres were between 300 and 500 nm. Finally, both micro- and nanospheres were surface modified using cystamine and quantified, following cystamine reduction, with DTNB (Ellman's reagent). Surface labeling was observed at 0.20-35 micromol/g for microspheres and 0.6-100 micromol/g for nanospheres and followed the expected trend of increased labeling with increased polyanhydride content.
Influence of Gel Properties on Neocartilage Formation by Auricular Chondrocytes Photoencapsulated in Hyaluronic Acid Networks
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Jun, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16482551
The objective of this study was to determine how changes in the network structure and properties of hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels, due to variations in the macromer molecular weight (50-1,100 kDa) and macromer concentration (2-20 wt %), affect neocartilage formation by encapsulated auricular chondrocytes. To investigate tissue formation, swine auricular chondrocytes were photoencapsulated in the various networks, implanted subcutaneously in the dorsum of nude mice, and explanted after 6 and 12 weeks for biochemical and histological analysis. After 12 weeks, the various constructs were 81-93% water, contained between 0.1 x 10(6) and 0.6 x 10(6) chondrocytes per sample, and consisted of 0-0.049 microg chondroitin sulfate/mug wet weight (glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content) and 0.002-0.060 microg collagen/microg wet weight. Histological staining showed an even distribution of chondrocytes and GAGs in addition to minimal type I collagen staining and intense and uniform type II collagen staining in the constructs with greatest neocartilage production. Hydrogels fabricated from 2 wt % of the 50 kDa HA macromer most resembled the properties of native cartilage and show the greatest promise for continued development for cartilage regeneration.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Sep, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16739173
The suitability of chitosan and UV-cross-linkable chitosan for intraperitoneal use, for example as a barrier device for preventing peritoneal adhesions or for drug delivery, was examined. In vitro experiments using two major cell types present in the peritoneal cavity (mesothelial cells and peritoneal macrophages) revealed neither attractive interactions between cross-linked chitosan gels and the cells nor a proliferative effect. However, the same UV-cross-linked chitosan applied in the peritoneal cavity of rabbits caused a granulomatous reaction with adhesion formation within two weeks in all animals, which persisted up to 4 weeks after exposure. Unmodified chitosan also caused adhesions, while UV irradiation did not. UV-cross-linkable chitosan induced significant elevations in MIP-2 and TNF-alpha from peritoneal macrophages, suggesting that soluble mediators could play a role in inducing adhesion formation. These results reinforce the view that the predictive value of in vitro cytotoxicity assays in matters of biocompatibility may not be sufficient, and suggest that other assays such as cytokine levels may be of value in predicting outcomes in situations involving multiple cell types (i.e. in vivo).
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Dec, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16788972
Micropatterning of hydrogels is potentially useful for a variety of applications, including tissue engineering, fundamental biological studies, diagnostics, and high-throughput screening. Although synthetic polymers have been developed for these applications, natural polymers such as polysaccharides may have advantages for biological samples and cell-based devices because they are natural components of the in vivo microenvironment. In this study, we synthesized and used hyaluronic acid (HA) modified with photoreactive methacrylates to fabricate microstructures as functional components of microfabricated devices. To demonstrate the universality of this approach, two types of microstructures were formed. In the first approach, HA microstructures were fabricated and used as docking templates to enable the subsequent formation of cell microarrays within low shear stress regions of the patterns. Cells within these microwells remained viable, could generate spheroids, and could be retrieved using mechanical disruption. In the second approach, cells were encapsulated directly within the HA hydrogels. Arrays of viable embryonic stem (ES) cells or fibroblasts were encapsulated within HA hydrogels and could later be recovered using enzymatic digestion of the microstructures. These results demonstrate that it is possible to incorporate photocrosslinkable HA, a natural, versatile, degradable, and biocompatible biopolymer, into micro-electromechanical systems.
Effects of Auricular Chondrocyte Expansion on Neocartilage Formation in Photocrosslinked Hyaluronic Acid Networks
Tissue Engineering. Sep, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16995800
The overall objective of this study was to examine the effects of in vitro expansion on neocartilage formation by auricular chondrocytes photoencapsulated in a hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel as a next step toward the clinical application of tissue engineering therapies for treatment of damaged cartilage. Swine auricular chondrocytes were encapsulated either directly after isolation (p = 0), or after further in vitro expansion ( p = 1 and p = 2) in a 2 wt%, 50-kDa HA hydrogel and implanted subcutaneously in the dorsum of nude mice. After 12 weeks, constructs were explanted for mechanical testing and biochemical and immunohistochemical analysis and compared to controls of HA gels alone and native cartilage. The compressive equilibrium moduli of the p = 0 and p = 1 constructs (51.2 +/- 8.0 and 72.5 +/- 35.2 kPa, respectively) were greater than the p = 2 constructs (26.8 +/- 14.9 kPa) and the control HA gel alone (12.3 +/- 1.3 kPa) and comparable to auricular cartilage (35.1 +/- 12.2 kPa). Biochemical analysis showed a general decrease in glycosaminoglycan (GAG), collagen, and elastin content with chondrocyte passage, though no significant differences were found between the p = 0 and p = 1 constructs for any of the analyses. Histological staining showed intense and uniform staining for aggrecan, as well as greater type II collagen versus type I collagen staining in all constructs. Overall, this study illustrates that constructs with the p = 0 and p = 1 auricular chondrocytes produced neocartilage tissue that resembled native auricular cartilage after 12 weeks in vivo. However, these results indicate that further expansion of the chondrocytes (p = 2) can lead to compromised tissue properties.
Biomaterials. Jan, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16115674
Degradable hydrogels are useful vehicles for the delivery of growth factors to promote the regeneration of diseased or damaged tissue. In the central nervous system, there are many instances where the delivery of neurotrophins has great potential in tissue repair, especially for treatment of spinal cord injury. In this work, hydrogels based on poly(ethylene glycol) that form via a photoinitiated polymerization were investigated for the delivery of neurotrophins. The release kinetics of these factors are controlled by changes in the network crosslinking density, which influences neurotrophin diffusion and subsequent release from the gels with total release times ranging from weeks to several months. The release and activity of one neurotrophic factor, ciliary-neurotrophic factor (CNTF), was assessed with a cell-based proliferation assay and an assay for neurite outgrowth from retinal explants. CNTF released from a degradable hydrogel above an explanted retina was able to stimulate outgrowth of a significantly higher number of neurites than controls without CNTF. Finally, unique microsphere/hydrogel composites were developed to simultaneously deliver multiple neurotrophins with individual release rates.
Lab on a Chip. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17538712
High throughput experiments can be used to spatially and temporally investigate the many factors that regulate cell differentiation. We have developed a micro-bioreactor array (MBA) that is fabricated using soft lithography and contains twelve independent micro-bioreactors perfused with culture medium. The MBA enables cultivation of cells that are either attached to substrates or encapsulated in hydrogels, at variable levels of hydrodynamic shear, and with automated image analysis of the expression of cell differentiation markers. The flow and mass transport in the MBA were characterized by computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling. The representative MBA configurations were validated using the C2C12 cell line, primary rat cardiac myocytes and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) (lines H09 and H13). To illustrate the utility of the MBA for controlled studies of hESCs, we established correlations between the expression of smooth muscle actin and cell density for three different flow configurations.
Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel for Controlled Self-renewal and Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17581871
Control of self-renewal and differentiation of human ES cells (hESCs) remains a challenge. This is largely due to the use of culture systems that involve poorly defined animal products and do not mimic the normal developmental milieu. Routine protocols involve the propagation of hESCs on mouse fibroblast or human feeder layers, enzymatic cell removal, and spontaneous differentiation in cultures of embryoid bodies, and each of these steps involves significant variability of culture conditions. We report that a completely synthetic hydrogel matrix can support (i) long-term self-renewal of hESCs in the presence of conditioned medium from mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder layers, and (ii) direct cell differentiation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels were selected because of the role of HA in early development and feeder layer cultures of hESCs and the controllability of hydrogel architecture, mechanics, and degradation. When encapsulated in 3D HA hydrogels (but not within other hydrogels or in monolayer cultures on HA), hESCs maintained their undifferentiated state, preserved their normal karyotype, and maintained their full differentiation capacity as indicated by embryoid body formation. Differentiation could be induced within the same hydrogel by simply altering soluble factors. We therefore propose that HA hydrogels, with their developmentally relevant composition and tunable physical properties, provide a unique microenvironment for the self-renewal and differentiation of hESCs.
Tissue Engineering. Oct, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17658993
Photopolymerizable and degradable biomaterials are finding widespread application in the field of tissue engineering for the engineering of tissues such as bone, cartilage, and liver. The spatial and temporal control afforded by photoinitiated polymerizations has allowed for the development of injectable materials that can deliver cells and growth factors, as well as for the fabrication of scaffolding with complex structures. The materials developed for these applications range from entirely synthetic polymers (e.g., poly(ethylene glycol)) to purely natural polymers (e.g., hyaluronic acid) that are modified with photoreactive groups, with degradation based on the hydrolytic or enzymatic degradation of bonds in the polymer backbone or crosslinks. The degradation behavior also ranges from purely bulk to entirely surface degrading, based on the nature of the backbone chemistry and type of degradable units. The mechanical properties of these polymers are primarily based on factors such as the network crosslinking density and polymer concentration. As we better understand biological features necessary to control cellular behavior, smarter materials are being developed that can incorporate and mimic many of these factors.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part B, Applied Biomaterials. May, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 16969828
Conventional treatment options for myocardial infarction are limited by the inability of mature myocardium to regenerate after injury. Although functional improvements after injection of cells and growth factors have been demonstrated, the clinical utility of this procedure has been hampered by poor cell localization, low survival, and rapid clearance of injected growth factors. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the applicability of a hydrogel, based on photocrosslinkable chitosan and acryloyl-poly(ethylene glycol)-RGDS (Az-chitosan/Acr-PEG-RGD) for myocyte cell culture and myocardial injection. Chitosan was modified with photoreactive azidobenzoic acid and Acr-PEG-RGD was synthesized by reacting YRGDS with an equimolar amount of acryloyl-PEG-N-hydroxysuccinimide. For injection and encapsulation each polymer was dissolved in Di-H(2)O (pH 6.4), the solutions were mixed and crosslinked by UV application (4 mW/cm(2)). C2C12 myoblasts proliferated and differentiated on hydrogels containing 5 mM RGD but not on the pure photocrosslinked chitosan. In vitro, the crosslinked hydrogels retained 80% of encapsulated VEGF for 24 days. Live/dead staining of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes encapsulated into Az-chitosan/Acr-PEG-RGD hydrogels indicated high cell viability upon UV crosslinking. Ex vivo, we localized the hydrogel on the surface and in the ventricle wall of an adult rat heart by brief (2 min) UV light application.
Influence of Macromer Molecular Weight and Chemistry on Poly(beta-amino Ester) Network Properties and Initial Cell Interactions
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Jun, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17896761
A library of photocrosslinkable poly(beta-amino ester)s (PBAEs) was recently synthesized to expand the number of degradable polymers that can be screened and developed for a variety of biological applications. In this work, the influence of variations in macromer chemistry and macromer molecular weight (MMW) on network reaction behavior, overall bulk properties, and cell interactions were investigated. The MMW was controlled through alterations in the initial diacrylate to amine ratio (> or =1) during synthesis and decreased with an increase in this ratio. Lower MMWs reacted more quickly and to higher double bond conversions than higher MMWs, potentially due to the higher concentration of reactive groups. Additionally, the lower MMWs led to networks with higher compressive and tensile moduli that degraded slower than networks formed from higher MMWs because of an increase in the crosslinking density and decrease in the number of degradable units per crosslink. The adhesion and spreading of osteoblast-like cells on polymer films was found to be dependent on both the macromer chemistry and the MMW. In general, the number of cells was similar on networks formed from a range of MMWs, but the spreading was dramatically influenced by MMW (higher spreading with lower MMWs). These results illustrate further diversity in photocrosslinkable PBAE properties and that the chemistry and macromer structure must be carefully selected for the desired application.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 17976858
Cartilage tissue engineering is emerging as a technique for the regeneration of cartilage tissue damaged due to disease or trauma. Since cartilage lacks regenerative capabilities, it is essential to develop approaches that deliver the appropriate cells, biomaterials, and signaling factors to the defect site. The objective of this review is to discuss the approaches that have been taken in this area, with an emphasis on various cell sources, including chondrocytes, fibroblasts, and stem cells. Additionally, biomaterials and their interaction with cells and the importance of signaling factors on cellular behavior and cartilage formation will be addressed. Ultimately, the goal of investigators working on cartilage regeneration is to develop a system that promotes the production of cartilage tissue that mimics native tissue properties, accelerates restoration of tissue function, and is clinically translatable. Although this is an ambitious goal, significant progress and important advances have been made in recent years.
Acta Biomaterialia. Mar, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18033746
Photopolymerizable and degradable biomaterials are becoming important in the development of advanced materials in the fields of tissue engineering, drug delivery, and microdevices. We have recently developed a library of poly(beta-amino ester)s (PBAEs) that form networks with a wide range of mechanical properties and degradation rates that are controlled by simple alterations in the macromer molecular weight or chemical structure. In this study, the influence of macromer branching on network properties was assessed by adding the trifunctional monomer pentaerythritol triacrylate (PETA) during synthesis. This led to a dose-dependent increase in the network compressive modulus, tensile modulus, and glass transition temperature, and a decrease in the network soluble fraction, yet led to only minor variations in degradation profiles and reaction behavior. For instance, the tensile modulus increased from 1.98+/-0.09MPa to 3.88+/-0.20MPa when the macromer went from a linear structure to a more branched structure with the addition of PETA. When osteoblast-like cells were grown on thin films, there was an increase in cell adhesion and spreading as the amount of PETA incorporated during synthesis increased. Towards tissue engineering applications, porous scaffolds were fabricated by photopolymerizing around a poragen and then subsequently leaching the poragen. Interconnected pores were observed in the scaffolds and observed trends translated to the porous scaffold (i.e., increasing mechanics with increasing branching). These findings demonstrate a simple variation during macromer synthesis that can be used to further tune the physical properties of scaffolds for given applications, particularly for candidates from the PBAE library.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18257065
Electrospun fibrous scaffolds are being developed for the engineering of numerous tissues. Advantages of electrospun scaffolds include the similarity in fiber diameter to elements of the native extracellular matrix and the ability to align fibers within the scaffold to control and direct cellular interactions and matrix deposition. To further expand the range of properties available in fibrous scaffolds, we developed a process to electrospin photocrosslinkable macromers from a library of multifunctional poly(beta-amino ester)s. In this study, we utilized one macromer (A6) from this library for initial examination of fibrous scaffold formation. A carrier polymer [poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO)] was used for fiber formation because of limitations in electrospinning A6 alone. Various ratios of A6 and PEO were successfully electrospun and influenced the scaffold fiber diameter and appearance. When electrospun with a photoinitiator and exposed to light, the macromers crosslinked rapidly to high double bond conversions and fibrous scaffolds displayed higher elastic moduli compared to uncrosslinked scaffolds. When these fibers were deposited onto a rotating mandrel and crosslinked, organized fibrous scaffolds were obtained, which possessed higher moduli (approximately 4-fold) in the fiber direction than perpendicular to the fiber direction, as well as higher moduli (approximately 12-fold) than that of nonaligned crosslinked scaffolds. With exposure to water, a significant mass loss and a decrease in mechanical properties were observed, correlating to a rapid initial loss of PEO which reached an equilibrium after 7 days. Overall, these results present a process that allows for formation of fibrous scaffolds from a wide variety of possible photocrosslinkable macromers, increasing the diversity and range of properties achievable in fibrous scaffolds for tissue regeneration.
The Potential to Improve Cell Infiltration in Composite Fiber-aligned Electrospun Scaffolds by the Selective Removal of Sacrificial Fibers
Biomaterials. May, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18313138
Aligned electrospun scaffolds are promising tools for engineering fibrous musculoskeletal tissues, as they reproduce the mechanical anisotropy of these tissues and can direct ordered neo-tissue formation. However, these scaffolds suffer from a slow cellular infiltration rate, likely due in part to their dense fiber packing. We hypothesized that cell ingress could be expedited in scaffolds by increasing porosity, while at the same time preserving overall scaffold anisotropy. To test this hypothesis, poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (a slow-degrading polyester) and poly(ethylene oxide) (a water-soluble polymer) were co-electrospun from two separate spinnerets to form dual-polymer composite fiber-aligned scaffolds. Adjusting fabrication parameters produced aligned scaffolds with a full range of sacrificial (PEO) fiber contents. Tensile properties of scaffolds were functions of the ratio of PCL to PEO in the composite scaffolds, and were altered in a predictable fashion with removal of the PEO component. When seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), increases in the starting sacrificial fraction (and porosity) improved cell infiltration and distribution after three weeks in culture. In pure PCL scaffolds, cells lined the scaffold periphery, while scaffolds containing >50% sacrificial PEO content had cells present throughout the scaffold. These findings indicate that cell infiltration can be expedited in dense fibrous assemblies with the removal of sacrificial fibers. This strategy may enhance in vitro and in vivo formation and maturation of functional constructs for fibrous tissue engineering.
Biomacromolecules. Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18324776
Polysaccharides are being processed into biomaterials for numerous biological applications due to their native source in numerous tissues and biological functions. For instance, hyaluronic acid (HA) is found abundantly in the body, interacts with cells through surface receptors, and can regulate cellular behavior (e.g., proliferation, migration). HA was previously modified with reactive groups to form hydrogels that are degraded by hyaluronidases, either added exogenously or produced by cells. However, these hydrogels may be inhibitory and their applications are limited if the appropriate enzymes are not present. Here, for the first time, we synthesized HA macromers and hydrogels that are both hydrolytically (via ester group hydrolysis) and enzymatically degradable. The hydrogel degradation and growth factor release was tailored through the hydrogel cross-linking density (i.e., macromer concentration) and copolymerization with purely enzymatically degradable macromers. When mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were encapsulated in the hydrogels, cellular organization and tissue distribution was influenced by the copolymer concentration. Importantly, the distribution of released extracellular matrix molecules (e.g., chondroitin sulfate) was improved with increasing amounts of the hydrolytically degradable component. Overall, this new macromer allows for enhanced control over the structural evolution of the HA hydrogels toward applications as biomaterials.
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Jul, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18407752
Chondrocytes isolated from a variety of sources, including auricular (AU) and articular (AR) cartilage, can differ in cell behavior, growth, and extracellular matrix (ECM) production, which can impact neocartilage properties in tissue engineering approaches. This behavior is also affected by the surrounding microenvironment, including soluble factors, biomaterials, and mechanical loading. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in juvenile AU and AR chondrocyte behavior when encapsulated in radically polymerized hyaluronic acid hydrogels. When implanted in vivo, differences in macroscopic appearance, mechanical properties, glycosaminoglycan content, and collagen content were observed depending on the chondrocyte type encapsulated. Specifically, AU constructs exhibited construct growth and neocartilage formation with increases in aggregate modulus and ECM accumulation with culture, whereas AR constructs retained their construct size and remained translucent with only a minimal increase in the compressive modulus. When cultured in vitro, both cell types remained viable and differences in gene expression were observed for type I and II collagens. Likewise, differences in gene expression were noted after dynamic mechanical loading, where stimulated AR constructs exhibited 2.3- and 1.5-fold increases in type II collagen and aggrecan over free-swelling controls, while AU samples exhibited smaller fold increases of 1.4- and 1.3-fold, respectively. Thus, these data indicate that the specific cell source, cell/material interactions, and loading environment are important in the final properties of tissue-engineered products.
Biomedical Materials (Bristol, England). Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18689916
The development of biodegradable materials with elastomeric properties is beneficial for a variety of applications, including for use in the engineering of soft tissues. Although others have developed biodegradable elastomers, they are restricted by their processing at high temperatures and under vacuum, which limits their fabrication into complex scaffolds. To overcome this, we have modified precursors to a tough biodegradable elastomer, poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) with acrylates to impart control over the crosslinking process and allow for more processing options. The acrylated-PGS (Acr-PGS) macromers are capable of crosslinking through free radical initiation mechanisms (e.g., redox and photo-initiated polymerizations). Alterations in the molecular weight and % acrylation of the Acr-PGS led to changes in formed network mechanical properties. In general, Young's modulus increased with % acrylation and the % strain at break increased with molecular weight when the % acrylation was held constant. Based on the mechanical properties, one macromer was further investigated for in vitro and in vivo degradation and biocompatibility. A mild to moderate inflammatory response typical of implantable biodegradable polymers was observed, even when formed as an injectable system with redox initiation. Moreover, fibrous scaffolds of Acr-PGS and a carrier polymer, poly(ethylene oxide), were prepared via an electrospinning and photopolymerization technique and the fiber morphology was dependent on the ratio of these components. This system provides biodegradable polymers with tunable properties and enhanced processing capabilities towards the advancement of approaches in engineering soft tissues.
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18694293
In a developing organism, tissues emerge from coordinated sequences of cell renewal, differentiation, and assembly that are orchestrated by spatial and temporal gradients of multiple regulatory factors. The composition, architecture, signaling, and biomechanics of the cellular microenvironment act in concert to provide the necessary cues regulating cell function in the developing and adult organism. With recent major advances in stem cell biology, tissue engineering is becoming increasingly oriented toward biologically inspired in vitro cellular microenvironments designed to guide stem cell growth, differentiation, and functional assembly. The premise is that to unlock the full potential of stem cells, at least some aspects of the dynamic three-dimensional (3D) environments that are associated with their renewal, differentiation, and assembly in native tissues need to be reconstructed. In the general context of tissue engineering, we discuss the environments for guiding stem cell function by an interactive use of biomaterial scaffolds and bioreactors, and focus on the interplay between molecular and physical regulatory factors. We highlight some illustrative examples of controllable cell environments developed through the interaction of stem cell biology and tissue engineering at multiple levels.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18985787
The unique electrochemical properties of conductive polymers can be utilized to form stand-alone polymeric tubes and arrays of tubes that are suitable for guides to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. Noncomposite, polypyrrole (PPy) tubes ranging in inner diameter from 25 microm to 1.6 mm as well as multichannel tubes were fabricated by electrodeposition. While oxidation of the pyrrole monomer causes growth of the film, brief subsequent reduction allowed mechanical dissociation from the electrode mold, creating a stand-alone, conductive PPy tube. Conductive polymer nerve guides made in this manner were placed in transected rat sciatic nerves and shown to support nerve regeneration over an 8-week time period.
Mechanically Robust and Bioadhesive Collagen and Photocrosslinkable Hyaluronic Acid Semi-interpenetrating Networks
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Jul, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19105604
In this work, we present a class of hydrogels that leverage the favorable properties of the photo-cross-linkable hyaluronic acid (HA) and semi-interpenetrating collagen components. The mechanical properties of the semi-interpenetrating-network (semi-IPN) hydrogels far surpass those achievable with collagen gels or collagen gel-based semi-IPNs. Furthermore, the inclusion of the semi-interpenetrating collagen chains provides a synergistic mechanical improvement over unmodified HA hydrogels. Collagen-HA semi-IPNs supported fibroblast adhesion and proliferation and were shown to be suitable for cell encapsulation at high levels of cell viability. To demonstrate the utility of the semi-IPNs as a microscale tissue engineering material, cell-laden microstructures and microchannels were fabricated using soft lithographic techniques. Given their enhanced mechanical and biomimetic properties, we anticipate that these materials will be of value in tissue engineering and three-dimensional cell culture applications.
Differential Maturation and Structure-function Relationships in Mesenchymal Stem Cell- and Chondrocyte-seeded Hydrogels
Tissue Engineering. Part A. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19119920
Degenerative disease and damage to articular cartilage represents a growing concern in the aging population. New strategies for engineering cartilage have employed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a cell source. However, recent work has suggested that chondrocytes (CHs) produce extracellular matrix (ECM) with superior mechanical properties than MSCs do. Because MSC-biomaterial interactions are important for both initial cell viability and subsequent chondrogenesis, we compared the growth of MSC- and CH-based constructs in three distinct hydrogels-agarose (AG), photocrosslinkable hyaluronic acid (HA), and self-assembling peptide (Puramatrix, Pu). Bovine CHs and MSCs were isolated from the same group of donors and seeded in AG, Pu, and HA at 20 million cells/mL. Constructs were cultured for 8 weeks with biweekly analysis of construct physical properties, viability, ECM content, and mechanical properties. Correlation analysis was performed to determine quantitative relationships between formed matrix and mechanical properties for each cell type in each hydrogel. Results demonstrate that functional chondrogenesis, as evidenced by increasing mechanical properties, occurred in each MSC-seeded hydrogel. Interestingly, while CH-seeded constructs were strongly dependent on the 3D environment in which they were encapsulated, similar growth profiles were observed in each MSC-laden hydrogel. In every case, MSC-laden constructs possessed mechanical properties significantly lower than those of CH-seeded AG constructs. This finding suggests that methods for inducing MSC chondrogenesis have yet to be optimized to produce cells whose functional matrix-forming potential matches that of native CHs.
Influence of Three-dimensional Hyaluronic Acid Microenvironments on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Chondrogenesis
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19193129
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitor cells whose plasticity and self-renewal capacity have generated significant interest for applications in tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to investigate MSC chondrogenesis in photo-cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels. Because HA is a native component of cartilage, and MSCs may interact with HA via cell surface receptors, these hydrogels could influence stem cell differentiation. In vitro and in vivo cultures of MSC-laden HA hydrogels permitted chondrogenesis, measured by the early gene expression and production of cartilage-specific matrix proteins. For in vivo culture, MSCs were encapsulated with and without transforming growth factor beta-3 (TGF-beta3) or pre-cultured for 2 weeks in chondrogenic medium before implantation. Up-regulation of type II collagen, aggrecan, and sox 9 was observed for all groups over MSCs at the time of encapsulation, and the addition of TGF-beta3 further enhanced the expression of these genes. To assess the influence of scaffold chemistry on chondrogenesis, HA hydrogels were compared with relatively inert poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels and showed enhanced expression of cartilage-specific markers. Differences between HA and PEG hydrogels in vivo were most noticeable for MSCs and polymer alone, indicating that hydrogel chemistry influences the commitment of MSCs to undergo chondrogenesis (e.g., approximately 43-fold up-regulation of type II collagen of MSCs in HA over PEG hydrogels). Although this study investigated only early markers of tissue regeneration, these results emphasize the importance of material cues in MSC differentiation microenvironments, potentially through interactions between scaffold materials and cell surface receptors.
Engineering on the Straight and Narrow: the Mechanics of Nanofibrous Assemblies for Fiber-reinforced Tissue Regeneration
Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews. Jun, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19207040
Tissue engineering of fibrous tissues of the musculoskeletal system represents a considerable challenge because of the complex architecture and mechanical properties of the component structures. Natural healing processes in these dense tissues are limited as a result of the mechanically challenging environment of the damaged tissue and the hypocellularity and avascular nature of the extracellular matrix. When healing does occur, the ordered structure of the native tissue is replaced with a disorganized fibrous scar with inferior mechanical properties, engendering sites that are prone to re-injury. To address the engineering of such tissues, we and others have adopted a structurally motivated approach based on organized nanofibrous assemblies. These scaffolds are composed of ultrafine polymeric fibers that can be fabricated in such a way to recreate the structural anisotropy typical of fiber-reinforced tissues. This straight-and-narrow topography not only provides tailored mechanical properties, but also serves as a 3D biomimetic micropattern for directed tissue formation. This review describes the underlying technology of nanofiber production and focuses specifically on the mechanical evaluation and theoretical modeling of these structures as it relates to native tissue structure and function. Applying the same mechanical framework for understanding native and engineered fiber-reinforced tissues provides a functional method for evaluating the utility and maturation of these unique engineered constructs. We further describe several case examples where these principles have been put to test, and discuss the remaining challenges and opportunities in forwarding this technology toward clinical implementation.
Langmuir : the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19239232
Biodegradable polymersomes are promising vehicles for a range of applications. Their stabilization would improve many properties, including the retention and controlled release of polymersome contents, yet this has not been previously accomplished. Here, we present the first example of stabilizing fully biodegradable polymersomes through acrylation of the hydrophobic terminal end of polymersome-forming poly(caprolactone-b-ethylene glycol). Exposure of the resulting polymersomes loaded with a hydrophobic photoinitiator to ultraviolet light polymerized the acrylates, without affecting polymersome morphology or cell cytotoxicity. These stabilized polymersomes were more resistant to surfactant disruption and degradation. As an example of stabilized polymersome utility, the unintended release of doxorubicin (DOX) due to leakage from polymersomes decreased with membrane stabilization and slower sustained release was observed. Finally, DOX-loaded polymersomes retained their cytotoxicity following stabilization.
Tissue Engineering. Part B, Reviews. Sep, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19290801
As the field of tissue engineering progresses, new technology is essential to accelerate the identification of potentially translatable approaches for the repair of tissues damaged due to disease or trauma. The development of high-throughput and combinatorial technologies is helping to speed up research that is applicable to all aspects of the tissue engineering paradigm. This diverse technology can be used for both the rapid synthesis of polymers and their characterization with respect to local and bulk properties in a high-throughput fashion. The interactions of cells with many diverse materials in both two- and three-dimensions can be assessed rapidly through the use of microarrays and rapid outcome measures and with microfluidic devices for investigation of soluble factor and material combinations. Finally, small molecule screening of large libraries is being used to identify molecules that exhibit control over cell behavior, including stem cell differentiation. All of these approaches are aimed to move beyond traditional iterative methods to identify unique materials and molecules that would not have been identified otherwise. Although much of this work is only applicable for in vitro studies, future methods may translate into rapid screening of these approaches in vivo.
Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany). Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19408258
The Influence of Degradation Characteristics of Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels on in Vitro Neocartilage Formation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Biomaterials. Sep, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19464053
The potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a viable cell source for cartilage repair hinges on the development of engineered scaffolds that support adequate cartilage tissue formation. Evolving networks (hydrogels with mesh sizes that change over time due to crosslink degradation) may provide the control needed to enhance overall tissue formation when compared to static scaffolds. In this study, MSCs were photoencapsulated in combinations of hydrolytically and enzymatically degradable hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels to investigate the tunability of these hydrogels and the influence of network evolution on neocartilage formation. In MSC-laden HA hydrogels, compressive mechanical properties increased when degradation complemented extracellular matrix deposition and decreased when degradation was too rapid. In addition, dynamic hydrogels that started at a higher wt% and decreased to a lower wt% were not equivalent to static hydrogels that started at the higher or lower wt%. Specifically, evolving 2 wt% hydrogels (2 wt% degrading to 1 wt%) expressed up-regulation of type II collagen and aggrecan, and exhibited increased glycosaminoglycan content over non-evolving 2 and 1 wt% hydrogels. Likewise, mechanical properties and size maintenance were superior in the dynamic system compared to the static 2 wt% and 1 wt% hydrogels, respectively. Thus, hydrogels with dynamic properties may improve engineered tissues and help translate tissue engineering technology to clinical application.
Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19831482
Aligned nanofibrous scaffolds hold tremendous potential for the engineering of dense connective tissues. These biomimetic micropatterns direct organized cell-mediated matrix deposition and can be tuned to possess nonlinear and anisotropic mechanical properties. For these scaffolds to function in vivo, however, they must either recapitulate the full dynamic mechanical range of the native tissue upon implantation or must foster cell infiltration and matrix deposition so as to enable construct maturation to meet these criteria. In our recent studies, we noted that cell infiltration into dense aligned structures is limited but could be expedited via the inclusion of a distinct rapidly eroding sacrificial component. In the present study, we sought to further the fabrication of dynamic nanofibrous constructs by combining multiple-fiber populations, each with distinct mechanical characteristics, into a single composite nanofibrous scaffold. Toward this goal, we developed a novel method for the generation of aligned electrospun composites containing rapidly eroding (PEO), moderately degradable (PLGA and PCL/PLGA), and slowly degrading (PCL) fiber populations. We evaluated the mechanical properties of these composites upon formation and with degradation in a physiologic environment. Furthermore, we employed a hyperelastic constrained-mixture model to capture the nonlinear and time-dependent properties of these scaffolds when formed as single-fiber populations or in multipolymer composites. After validating this model, we demonstrated that by carefully selecting fiber populations with differing mechanical properties and altering the relative fraction of each, a wide range of mechanical properties (and degradation characteristics) can be achieved. This advance allows for the rational design of nanofibrous scaffolds to match native tissue properties and will significantly enhance our ability to fabricate replacements for load-bearing tissues of the musculoskeletal system.
Journal of Orthopaedic Research : Official Publication of the Orthopaedic Research Society. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18634009
Nerve root compression produces persistent behavioral sensitivity in models of painful neck injury. This study utilized degradable poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels to deliver glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to an injured nerve root. Hydrogels delivered approximately 98% of encapsulated GDNF over 7 days in an in vitro release assay without the presence of neurons and produced enhanced outgrowth of processes in cortical neural cell primary cultures. The efficacy of a GDNF hydrogel placed on the root immediately after injury was assessed in a rat pain model of C7 dorsal root compression. Control groups included painful injury followed by: (1) vehicle hydrogel treatment (no GDNF), (2) a bolus injection of GDNF, or (3) no treatment. After injury, mechanical allodynia (n = 6/group) was significantly decreased with GDNF delivered by the hydrogel compared to the three injury control groups (p < 0.03). The bolus GDNF treatment did not reduce allodynia at any time point. The GDNF receptor (GFRalpha-1) decreased in small, nociceptive neurons of the affected dorsal root ganglion, suggesting a decrease in receptor expression following injury. GDNF receptor immunoreactivity was significantly greater in these neurons following GDNF hydrogel treatment relative to GDNF bolus treated and untreated rats (p < 0.05). These data suggest efficacy for degradable hydrogel delivery of GDNF and support this treatment approach for nerve root-mediated pain.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology. Jan-Feb, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20049784
Neurotrophins have been implicated in a variety of diseases and their delivery to sites of disease and injury has therapeutic potential in applications including spinal cord injury, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Biodegradable polymers, and specifically, biodegradable water-swollen hydrogels, may be advantageous as delivery vehicles for neurotrophins because of tissue-like properties, tailorability with respect to degradation and release behavior, and a history of biocompatibility. These materials may be designed to degrade via hydrolytic or enzymatic mechanisms and can be used for the sustained delivery of trophic factors in vivo. Hydrogels investigated to date include purely synthetic to purely natural, depending on the application and intended release profiles. Also, flexibility in material processing has allowed for the investigation of injectable materials, the development of scaffolding and porous conduits, and the use of composites for tailored molecule delivery profiles. It is the objective of this review to describe what has been accomplished in this area thus far and to remark on potential future directions in this field. Ultimately, the goal is to engineer optimal biomaterials to deliver molecules in a controlled and dictated manner that can promote regeneration and healing for numerous neural applications.
Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19963530
Biomaterial design is an important component towards tissue engineering applications. There are many parameters that may be adjusted including physical properties (i.e., degradation and mechanics) and chemical properties (e.g., adhesion and cellular interactions). These design components may dictate the success or failure of a tissue engineering approach. Our group is particularly interested in the use of swollen hydrogels as cell carriers. One material that is used to fabricate hydrogels is hyaluronic acid (HA), which is found in many tissues in the body. Here, we show the control over hydrogel degradation, both in the bulk and locally to cells to control both the distribution of extracellular matrix by cells and whether or not a cell spreads in the hydrogels. These signals are important in the final structure and mechanical properties of engineered tissues, and potentially the differentiation of encapsulated stem cells.
Conference Proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19964957
Composites of nanoparticles and polymers are finding wide applications to alter material properties, conductivity, and utility. Here, we show that nano-composites can be designed to heat in the presence of near infrared light. This process is useful in transitioning materials through a transition temperature for a range of applications. For example, shape-memory materials (including polymers, metals, and ceramics) are those that are processed into a temporary shape and respond to some external stimuli (e.g., temperature) to undergo a transition back to a permanent shape and may be useful in a range of applications from aerospace to fabrics, to biomedical devices and microsystem components. In this work, we formulated composites of gold nanorods (<1% by volume) and biodegradable networks, where exposure to infrared light induced heating and consequently, shape transitions. The heating is repeatable and tunable based on nanorod concentration and light intensity.
Biodegradable Fibrous Scaffolds with Tunable Properties Formed from Photo-cross-linkable Poly(glycerol Sebacate)
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Sep, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20160937
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the architecture and mechanical properties of scaffolds, particularly with respect to mimicking features of natural tissues, are important for tissue engineering applications. Acrylated poly(glycerol sebacate) (Acr-PGS) is a material that can be cross-linked upon exposure to ultraviolet light, leading to networks with tunable mechanical and degradation properties through simple changes during Acr-PGS synthesis. For example, the number of acrylate functional groups on the macromer dictates the concentration of cross-links formed in the resulting network. Three macromers were synthesized that form networks that vary dramatically with respect to their tensile modulus ( approximately 30 kPa to 6.6 MPa) and degradation behavior ( approximately 20-100% mass loss at 12 weeks) based on the extent of acrylation ( approximately 1-24%). These macromers were processed into biodegradable fibrous scaffolds using electrospinning, with gelatin as a carrier polymer to facilitate fiber formation and cell adhesion. The resulting scaffolds were also diverse with respect to their mechanics (tensile modulus ranging from approximately 60 kPa to 1 MPa) and degradation ( approximately 45-70% mass loss by 12 weeks). Mesenchymal stem cell adhesion and proliferation on all fibrous scaffolds was indistinguishable from those of controls. The scaffolds showed similar diversity when implanted on the surface of hearts in a rat model of acute myocardial infarction and demonstrated a dependence on the scaffold thickness and chemistry in the host response. In summary, these diverse scaffolds with tailorable chemical, structural, mechanical, and degradation properties are potentially useful for the engineering of a wide range of soft tissues.
Soft Matter. 2009 | Pubmed ID: 20543970
The production of complex, yet well defined materials offers many opportunities in regenerative medicine, in which the mechanical and biological properties of the matrix must meet stringent requirements. Here we report the recombinant production of modular polypeptidic materials, based on the highly resilient protein resilin, which are equipped with multiple biologically active domains. The recombinant materials exhibit useful mechanical and cell adhesion behavior.
Small (Weinheim an Der Bergstrasse, Germany). Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20603882
Patterning Network Structure to Spatially Control Cellular Remodeling and Stem Cell Fate Within 3-dimensional Hydrogels
Biomaterials. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20674004
The spatially directed 3-dimensional (3D) remodeling of synthetic materials may be useful to regionally control cell behavior. In this work, we developed a process to synthesize hyaluronic acid hydrogels using multiple modes of crosslinking applied sequentially; a primary addition reaction to introduce protease degradable peptide crosslinks, then a UV light-induced secondary radical reaction (enabling spatial control) to introduce non-degradable kinetic chains. These differential network structures either permitted (primary crosslinking only, "-UV") or inhibited (sequential crosslinking, "+UV") cellular remodeling. This behavior was validated by controlling the outgrowth from chick aortic arches or the spreading of encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), where only -UV regions permitted arch outgrowth and MSC spreading. Additionally, network structures dictated adipogenic/osteogenic MSC fate decisions, with spatial control, by controlling encapsulated MSC spreading. This manipulation of microenvironmental cues may be valuable for advanced tissue engineering applications requiring the spatial control of cells in 3D.
Journal of the American Chemical Society. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20184323
Polymer vesicles, or polymersomes, are promising candidates for applications in drug delivery and tissue imaging. While a vast variety of polymers have been explored for their ability to assemble into polymersomes, relatively little research on the functionalization of these polymers has been reported. We present here a novel route for the synthesis of poly(caprolactone)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG) diblock copolymers that allows for the insertion of functional groups at the block junctions and the assembly of functional membranes. This modular synthesis has been developed on the basis of solid-phase peptide synthesis techniques and is accomplished through the formation of two peptide bonds, one between an amine-terminated PEG and the carboxyl moiety of the functional group and the other between the functional group amine and a carboxy-terminated PCL. As a demonstration of the potential utility of the resulting vesicles, we incorporated two different amino acid functional groups at the junction. 2-Nitrophenylalanine was utilized to create UV-responsive membranes in which the vesicles were destabilized and released encapsulated contents upon irradiation. A fluorescein-conjugated lysine was also utilized to create stable fluorescent membranes in which the fluorescence was built into the polymer. This method should contribute to our ability to further develop smart, functional membranes.
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20198696
Combinatorial polymer syntheses are now being utilized to create libraries of materials with potential utility for a wide variety of biomedical applications. We recently developed a library of photopolymerizable and biodegradable poly(beta-amino ester)s (PBAEs) that possess a range of tunable properties. In this study, the PBAE library was assessed for candidate materials that met design criteria (e.g., physical properties such as degradation and mechanical strength and in vitro cell viability and osteoconductive behavior) for scaffolding in mineralized tissue repair. The most promising candidate, A6, was then processed into three-dimensional porous scaffolds and implanted subcutaneously and only presented a mild inflammatory response. The scaffolds were then implanted intramuscularly and into a critical-sized cranial defect either alone or loaded with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). The samples in both locations displayed mineralized tissue formation in the presence of BMP-2, as evident through radiographs, micro-computed tomography, and histology, whereas samples without BMP-2 showed minimal or no mineralized tissue. These results illustrate a process to identify a candidate scaffolding material from a combinatorial polymer library, and specifically for the identification of an osteoconductive scaffold with osteoinductive properties via the inclusion of a growth factor.
Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Jan, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20217683
Advances in our understanding of stem cell interactions with their environment are leading to the development of new materials-based approaches to control stem cell behavior toward cellular culture and tissue regeneration applications. Materials can provide cues based on chemistry, mechanics, structure, and molecule delivery that control stem cell fate decisions and matrix formation. These approaches are helping to advance clinical translation of a range of stem cell types through better expansion techniques and scaffolding for use in tissue engineering approaches for the regeneration of many tissues. With this in mind, this progress report covers basic concepts and recent advances in the use of materials for manipulating stem cells.
Injectable Hydrogel Properties Influence Infarct Expansion and Extent of Postinfarction Left Ventricular Remodeling in an Ovine Model
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20534527
A recent trend has emerged that involves myocardial injection of biomaterials, containing cells or acellular, following myocardial infarction (MI) to influence the remodeling response through both biological and mechanical effects. Despite the number of different materials injected in these approaches, there has been little investigation into the importance of material properties on therapeutic outcomes. This work focuses on the investigation of injectable hyaluronic acid (MeHA) hydrogels that have tunable mechanics and gelation behavior. Specifically, two MeHA formulations that exhibit similar degradation and tissue distribution upon injection but have differential moduli (approximately 8 versus approximately 43 kPa) were injected into a clinically relevant ovine MI model to evaluate the associated salutary effect of intramyocardial hydrogel injection on the remodeling response based on hydrogel mechanics. Treatment with both hydrogels significantly increased the wall thickness in the apex and basilar infarct regions compared with the control infarct. However, only the higher-modulus (MeHA High) treatment group had a statistically smaller infarct area compared with the control infarct group. Moreover, reductions in normalized end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes were observed for the MeHA High group. This group also tended to have better functional outcomes (cardiac output and ejection fraction) than the low-modulus (MeHA Low) and control infarct groups. This study provides fundamental information that can be used in the rational design of therapeutic materials for treatment of MI.
Biomaterials. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20541257
In this study, we investigated human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) interactions with uniform hydrogels and hydrogels with lamellar or hexagonal surface wrinkles to elucidate our ability to control hMSC morphology and differentiation. Wrinkled hydrogels were prepared from photocurable poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA) precursor solutions containing ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a crosslinker, using depth-wise gradients in crosslinking and subsequent buckling with swelling to generate wrinkles. A replica molding process was used to fabricate a series of gels with uniform mechanics, but altered surface wrinkle size and shape. We found that hMSCs attached to lamellar wrinkles spread by taking the shape of the pattern, exhibit high aspect ratios, and differentiate into an osteogenic lineage. In contrast, cells that attached inside the hexagonal patterns remain rounded with low spreading and differentiate into an adipogenic lineage. This work aids in the development of material-based cell culture and scaffold systems to direct stem cell differentiation.
Macromolecular Bioscience. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20014197
Novel biomaterials are beneficial to the growing fields of drug delivery, cell biology, micro-devices, and tissue engineering. With recent advances in chemistry and materials science, light is becoming an attractive option as a method to control biomaterial behavior and properties. In this Feature Article, we explore some of the early and recent advances in the design of light-responsive biomaterials. Particular attention is paid to macromolecular assemblies for drug delivery, multi-component surface patterning for advanced cell assays, and polymer networks that undergo chemical or shape changes upon light exposure. We conclude with some remarks about future directions of the field.
Macromolecular Bioscience. Mar, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20014198
The structural and mechanical properties of tissue engineered environments are crucial for successful cellular growth and tissue repair. Electrospinning is gaining wide attention for the fabrication of tissue engineered scaffolds, but the small pore sizes of these scaffolds limit cell infiltration and construct vascularization. To address this problem, we have combined electrospinning with photopatterning to create multiscale porous scaffolds. This process retains the fibrous nature of the scaffolds and permits enhanced cellular infiltration and vascularization when compared to unpatterned scaffolds. This is the first time that photopatterning has been utilized with electrospun scaffolds and is only now possible with the electrospinning of reactive macromers.
An Anisotropic Nanofiber/microsphere Composite with Controlled Release of Biomolecules for Fibrous Tissue Engineering
Biomaterials. May, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20149432
Aligned nanofibrous scaffolds can recapitulate the structural hierarchy of fiber-reinforced tissues of the musculoskeletal system. While these electrospun fibrous scaffolds provide physical cues that can direct tissue formation when seeded with cells, the ability to chemically guide a population of cells, without disrupting scaffold mechanical properties, would improve the maturation of such constructs and add additional functionality to the system both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we developed a fabrication technique to entrap drug-delivering microspheres within nanofibrous scaffolds. We hypothesized that entrapping microspheres between fibers would have a less adverse impact on mechanical properties than placing microspheres within the fibers themselves, and that the composite would exhibit sustained release of multiple model compounds. Our results show that microspheres ranging from 10 - 20 microns in diameter could be electrospun in a dose-dependent manner to form nanofibrous composites. When delivered in a sacrificial PEO fiber population, microspheres remained securely entrapped between slow-degrading PCL fibers after removal of the sacrificial delivery component. Stiffness and modulus of the composite decreased with increasing microsphere density for composites in which microspheres were entrapped within each fiber, while stiffness did not change when microspheres were entrapped between fibers. The release profiles of the composite structures were similar to free microspheres, with an initial burst release followed by a sustained release of the model molecules over 4 weeks. Further, multiple model molecules were released from a single scaffold composite, demonstrating the capacity for multi-factor controlled release ideal for complex growth factor delivery from these structures.
PloS One. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 21203510
Fibrous scaffolds are finding wide use in the field of tissue engineering, as they can be designed to mimic many native tissue properties and structures (e.g., cardiac tissue, meniscus). The influence of fiber alignment and scaffold architecture on cellular interactions and matrix organization was the focus of this study. Three scaffolds were fabricated from the photocrosslinkable elastomer poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS), with changes in fiber alignment (non-aligned (NA) versus aligned (AL)) and the introduction of a PEO sacrificial polymer population to the AL scaffold (composite (CO)). PEO removal led to an increase in scaffold porosity and maintenance of scaffold anisotropy, as evident through visualization, mechanical testing, and mass loss studies. Hydrated scaffolds possessed moduli that ranged between ∼3-240 kPa, failing within the range of properties (<300 kPa) appropriate for soft tissue engineering. CO scaffolds were completely degraded as early as 16 days, whereas NA and AL scaffolds had ∼90% mass loss after 21 days when monitored in vitro. Neonatal cardiomyocytes, used as a representative cell type, that were seeded onto the scaffolds maintained their viability and aligned along the surface of the AL and CO fibers. When implanted subcutaneously in rats, a model that is commonly used to investigate in vivo tissue responses to biomaterials, CO scaffolds were completely integrated at 2 weeks, whereas ∼13% and ∼16% of the NA and AL scaffolds, respectively remained acellular. However, all scaffolds were completely populated with cells at 4 weeks post-implantation. Polarized light microscopy was used to evaluate the collagen elaboration and orientation within the scaffold. An increase in the amount of collagen was observed for CO scaffolds and enhanced alignment of the nascent collagen was observed for AL and CO scaffolds compared to NA scaffolds. Thus, these results indicate that the scaffold architecture and porosity are important considerations in controlling tissue formation.
Biodegradable Fibrous Scaffolds with Diverse Properties by Electrospinning Candidates from a Combinatorial Macromer Library
Acta Biomaterialia. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19853066
The properties of electrospun fibrous scaffolds, including degradation, mechanics and cellular interactions, are important for their use in tissue engineering applications. Although some diversity has been obtained previously in fibrous scaffolds, optimization of scaffold properties relies on iterative techniques in both polymer synthesis and processing. Here, we electrospun candidates from a combinatorial library of biodegradable and photopolymerizable poly(beta-amino ester)s (PBAEs) to show that the diversity in properties found in this library is retained when processed into fibrous scaffolds. Specifically, three PBAE macromers were electrospun into scaffolds and possessed similar initial mechanical properties, but exhibited mass loss ranging from rapid (complete degradation within approximately 2 weeks) to moderate (complete degradation within approximately 3 months) to slow (only partial degradation after 3 months). These trends in mechanics and degradation mimicked what was previously observed in the bulk polymers. Although cellular adhesion was dependent on the polymer composition in films, adhesion to scaffolds that were electrospun with gelatin was similar on all formulations and controls. To further illustrate the diverse properties that are attainable in these systems, the fastest and slowest degrading polymers were electrospun together into one scaffold, but as distinct fiber populations. This dual-polymer scaffold exhibited behavior in mass loss and mechanics with time that fell between the single-polymer scaffolds. In general, this work indicates that combinatorial libraries may be an important source of information and specific polymer compositions for the fabrication of electrospun fibrous scaffolds with tunable properties.
ACS Nano. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21384864
Stimuli-responsive materials undergo structural changes in response to an external trigger (i.e., pH, heat, or light). This process has been previously used for a range of applications in biomedicine and microdevices and has recently gained considerable attention in controlled drug release. Here, we use a near-infrared (NIR) light responsive polymer-nanorod composite whose glass transition temperature (T(g)) is in the range of body temperature to control and enhance the release of a small-molecule drug (<800 Da). In addition to increased temperature and resulting changes in molecule diffusion, the photothermal effect (conversion of NIR light to heat) adjusts the composite above the T(g). Specifically, at normal body temperature (T < T(g)), the structure is glassy and release is limited, whereas when T > T(g), the polymer is rubbery and release is enhanced. We applied this heating system to trigger release of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin from both polymer films and microspheres. Multiple cycles of NIR exposure were performed and demonstrated a triggered and stepwise release behavior. Lastly, we tested the microsphere system in vitro, reporting a ∼90% reduction in the activity of T6-17 cells when the release of doxorubicin was triggered from microspheres exposed to NIR light. This overall approach can be used with numerous polymer systems to modulate molecule release toward the development of unique and clinically applicable therapies.
Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Mar, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21394792
Hyaluronic acid (HA), an immunoneutral polysaccharide that is ubiquitous in the human body, is crucial for many cellular and tissue functions and has been in clinical use for over thirty years. When chemically modified, HA can be transformed into many physical forms-viscoelastic solutions, soft or stiff hydrogels, electrospun fibers, non-woven meshes, macroporous and fibrillar sponges, flexible sheets, and nanoparticulate fluids-for use in a range of preclinical and clinical settings. Many of these forms are derived from the chemical crosslinking of pendant reactive groups by addition/condensation chemistry or by radical polymerization. Clinical products for cell therapy and regenerative medicine require crosslinking chemistry that is compatible with the encapsulation of cells and injection into tissues. Moreover, an injectable clinical biomaterial must meet marketing, regulatory, and financial constraints to provide affordable products that can be approved, deployed to the clinic, and used by physicians. Many HA-derived hydrogels meet these criteria, and can deliver cells and therapeutic agents for tissue repair and regeneration. This progress report covers both basic concepts and recent advances in the development of HA-based hydrogels for biomedical applications.
Controlled Activation of Morphogenesis to Generate a Functional Human Microvasculature in a Synthetic Matrix
Blood. Jul, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21527523
Understanding the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in vascular morphogenesis has been possible using natural ECMs as in vitro models to study the underlying molecular mechanisms. However, little is known about vascular morphogenesis in synthetic matrices where properties can be tuned toward both the basic understanding of tubulogenesis in modular environments and as a clinically relevant alternative to natural materials for regenerative medicine. We investigated synthetic, tunable hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels and determined both the adhesion and degradation parameters that enable human endothelial colony-forming cells (ECFCs) to form efficient vascular networks. Entrapped ECFCs underwent tubulogenesis dependent on the cellular interactions with the HA hydrogel during each stage of vascular morphogenesis. Vacuole and lumen formed through integrins α(5)β(1) and α(V)β(3), while branching and sprouting were enabled by HA hydrogel degradation. Vascular networks formed within HA hydrogels containing ECFCs anastomosed with the host's circulation and supported blood flow in the hydrogel after transplantation. Collectively, we show that the signaling pathways of vascular morphogenesis of ECFCs can be precisely regulated in a synthetic matrix, resulting in a functional microvasculature useful for the study of 3-dimensional vascular biology and toward a range of vascular disorders and approaches in tissue regeneration.
Biomacromolecules. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21528921
A major obstacle in creating viable tissue-engineered constructs using electrospinning is the lack of complete cellularization and vascularization due to the limited porosity in these densely packed fibrous scaffolds. One potential approach to circumvent this issue is the use of various gradients of chemical and biophysical cues to drive the infiltration of cells into these structures. Toward this goal, this study focused on creating durotactic (mechanical) and haptotactic (adhesive) gradients through the thickness of electrospun hyaluronic acid (HA) scaffolds using a unique, yet simple, modification of common electrospinning protocols. Specifically, both mechanical (via cross-linking: ranging from 27-100% modified methacrylated HA, MeHA) and adhesive (via inclusion of the adhesive peptide RGD: 0-3 mM RGD) gradients were each fabricated by mixing two solutions (one ramping up, one ramping down) prior to electrospinning and fiber collection. Gradient formation was verified by fluorescence microscopy, FTIR, atomic force microscopy, and cellular morphology assessment of scaffolds at different points of collection (i.e., with scaffold thickness). To test further the functionality of gradient scaffolds, chick aortic arch explants were cultured on adhesive gradient scaffolds for 7 days, and low RGD-high RGD gradient scaffolds showed significantly greater cell infiltration compared with high RGD-low RGD gradients and uniform high RGD or uniform low RGD control scaffolds. In addition to enhanced infiltration, this approach could be used to fabricate graded tissue structures, such as those that occur at interfaces.
Enhanced MSC Chondrogenesis Following Delivery of TGF-β3 from Alginate Microspheres Within Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels in Vitro and in Vivo
Biomaterials. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21652067
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being recognized as a viable cell source for cartilage repair and members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily are a key mediator of MSC chondrogenesis. While TGF-β mediated MSC chondrogenesis is well established in in vitro pellet or hydrogel cultures, clinical translation will require effective delivery of TGF-βs in vivo. Here, we investigated the co-encapsulation of TGF-β3 containing alginate microspheres with human MSCs in hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels towards the development of implantable constructs for cartilage repair. TGF-β3 encapsulated in alginate microspheres with nanofilm coatings showed significantly reduced initial burst release compared to uncoated microspheres, with release times extending up to 6 days. HA hydrogel constructs seeded with MSCs and TGF-β3 containing microspheres developed comparable mechanical properties and cartilage matrix content compared to constructs supplemented with TGF-β3 continuously in culture media, whereas constructs with TGF-β3 directly encapsulated in the gels without microspheres had inferior properties. When implanted subcutaneously in nude mice, constructs containing TGF-β3 microspheres resulted in superior cartilage matrix formation when compared to groups without TGF-β3 or with TGF-β3 added directly to the gel. However, calcification was observed in implanted constructs after 8 weeks of subcutaneous implantation. To prevent this, the co-delivery of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) with TGF-β3 in alginate microspheres was pursued, resulting in partially reduced calcification. This study demonstrates that the controlled local delivery of TGF-β3 is essential to neocartilage formation by MSCs and that further optimization is needed to avert the differentiation of chondrogenically induced MSCs towards a hypertrophic phenotype.
Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research. Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21710332
Injectable hydrogels are being developed as potential translatable materials to influence the cascade of events that occur after myocardial infarction. These hydrogels, consisting of both synthetic and natural materials, form through numerous chemical crosslinking and assembly mechanisms and can be used as bulking agents or for the delivery of biological molecules. Specifically, a range of materials are being applied that alter the resulting mechanical and biological signals after infarction and have shown success in reducing stresses in the myocardium and limiting the resulting adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling. Additionally, the delivery of molecules from injectable hydrogels can influence cellular processes such as apoptosis and angiogenesis in cardiac tissue or can be used to recruit stem cells for repair. There is still considerable work to be performed to elucidate the mechanisms of these injectable hydrogels and to optimize their various properties (e.g., mechanics and degradation profiles). Furthermore, although the experimental findings completed to date in small animals are promising, future work needs to focus on the use of large animal models in clinically relevant scenarios. Interest in this therapeutic approach is high due to the potential for developing percutaneous therapies to limit LV remodeling and to prevent the onset of congestive heart failure that occurs with loss of global LV function. This review focuses on recent efforts to develop these injectable and acellular hydrogels to aid in cardiac repair.
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21801916
Infarct expansion after myocardial infarction (MI) is an important phenomenon that initiates and sustains adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling. We tested the hypothesis that infarct modification by material-induced infarct stiffening and thickening limits infarct expansion and LV remodeling.
Biomaterials. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21903262
Hyaline cartilage serves as a low-friction and wear-resistant articulating surface in load-bearing, diarthrodial joints. Unfortunately, as the avascular, alymphatic nature of cartilage significantly impedes the body's natural ability to regenerate, damage resulting from trauma and osteoarthritis necessitates repair attempts. Current clinical methods are generally limited in their ability to regenerate functional cartilage, and so research in recent years has focused on tissue engineering solutions in which the regeneration of cartilage is pursued through combinations of cells (e.g., chondrocytes or stem cells) paired with scaffolds (e.g., hydrogels, sponges, and meshes) in conjunction with stimulatory growth factors and bioreactors. A variety of synthetic and natural materials have been employed, most commonly in the form of hydrogels, and these systems have been tuned for optimal nutrient diffusion, connectivity of deposited matrix, degradation, soluble factor delivery, and mechanical loading for enhanced matrix production and organization. Even with these promising advances, the complex mechanical properties and biochemical composition of native cartilage have not been achieved, and engineering cartilage tissue still remains a significant challenge. Using hyaluronic acid hydrogels as an example, this review will follow the progress of material design specific to cartilage tissue engineering and propose possible future directions for the field.
Influence of Injectable Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel Degradation Behavior on Infarction-induced Ventricular Remodeling
Biomacromolecules. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21967486
Increased myocardial wall stress after myocardial infarction (MI) initiates the process of adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling that is manifest as progressive LV dilatation, loss of global contractile function, and symptomatic heart failure, and recent work has shown that reduction in wall stress through injectable bulking agents attenuates these outcomes. In this study, hyaluronic acid (HA) was functionalized to exhibit controlled and tunable mechanics and degradation once cross-linked, in an attempt to assess the temporal dependency of mechanical stabilization in LV remodeling. Specifically, two hydrolytically degrading (low and high HeMA-HA, degrading in ~3 and 10 weeks, respectively) and two stable (low and high MeHA, little mass loss even after 8 weeks) hydrogels with similar initial mechanics (low: ~7 kPa; high: ~35-40 kPa) were evaluated in an ovine model of MI. Generally, the more stable hydrogels maintained myocardial wall thickness in the apical and basilar regions more efficiently (low MeHA: apical: 6.5 mm, basilar: 7 mm, high MeHA: apical: 7.0 mm basilar: 7.2 mm) than the hydrolytically degrading hydrogels (low HeMA-HA: apical: 3.5 mm, basilar: 6.0 mm, high HeMA-HA: apical: 4.1 mm, basilar: 6.1 mm); however, all hydrogel groups were improved compared to infarct controls (IC) (apical: 2.2 mm, basilar: 4.6 mm). Histological analysis at 8 weeks demonstrated that although both degradable hydrogels resulted in increased inflammation, all treatments resulted in increased vessel formation compared to IC. Further evaluation revealed that while high HeMA-HA and high MeHA maintained reduced LV volumes at 2 weeks, high MeHA was more effective at 8 weeks, implying that longer wall stabilization is needed for volume maintenance. All hydrogel groups resulted in better cardiac output (CO) values than IC.
Dynamic Compressive Loading Enhances Cartilage Matrix Synthesis and Distribution and Suppresses Hypertrophy in HMSC-Laden Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21988555
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being recognized as a viable cell source for cartilage repair, and there is growing evidence that mechanical signals play a critical role in the regulation of stem cell chondrogenesis and in cartilage development. In this study we investigated the effect of dynamic compressive loading on chondrogenesis, the production and distribution of cartilage specific matrix, and the hypertrophic differentiation of human MSCs encapsulated in hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogels during long term culture. After 70 days of culture, dynamic compressive loading increased the mechanical properties, as well as the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen contents of HA hydrogel constructs in a seeding density dependent manner. The impact of loading on HA hydrogel construct properties was delayed when applied to lower density (20 million MSCs/ml) compared to higher seeding density (60 million MSCs/ml) constructs. Furthermore, loading promoted a more uniform spatial distribution of cartilage matrix in HA hydrogels with both seeding densities, leading to significantly improved mechanical properties as compared to free swelling constructs. Using a previously developed in vitro hypertrophy model, dynamic compressive loading was also shown to significantly reduce the expression of hypertrophic markers by human MSCs and to suppress the degree of calcification in MSC-seeded HA hydrogels. Findings from this study highlight the importance of mechanical loading in stem cell based therapy for cartilage repair in improving neocartilage properties and in potentially maintaining the cartilage phenotype.
Nanofiber-nanorod Composites Exhibiting Light-induced Reversible Lower Critical Solution Temperature Transitions
Nanotechnology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22101516
Stimuli-responsive materials are promising as smart materials for a range of applications. In this work, a photo-crosslinkable, thermoresponsive macromer was electrospun into fibrous scaffolds containing gold nanorods (AuNRs). The resulting fibrous nanocomposites composed of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-polyethylene glycol acrylate) (PNPA) and PEGylated AuNRs were crosslinked and swollen in water. AuNRs strongly absorb in the near-infrared (NIR) region to generate heat, which triggered the fiber thermal transition upon NIR light exposure. During the thermal transition, scaffolds collapsed both macroscopically and microscopically, with individual fibers deswelling and pulling together. Exposure to a 1.1 W NIR laser decreased the diameter of swollen fibers by 34.7% from 1332 ± 193.3 to 868.9 ± 168.3 nm, and increased fiber density 116% from 209.5 ± 26.34 to 451.9 ± 23.68 fibers mm( - 1). This transition was dependent on the incorporation of the AuNRs, and was utilized to trigger the release of encapsulated proteins from the nanocomposite fiber mats. The expulsion of water from fibers upon NIR exposure caused the release rate of incorporated protein to increase greater than tenfold, from 0.038 ± 0.052 without external stimulus to 0.462 ± 0.227 µg protein/mg polymer/min with NIR exposure. These results suggest that light-responsive fibrous nanocomposites can be utilized in applications such as drug delivery.
High-throughput Screening of a Small Molecule Library for Promoters and Inhibitors of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Osteogenic Differentiation
Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Jan, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 20824673
The use of high-throughput screening (HTS) techniques has long been employed by the pharmaceutical industry to increase discovery rates for new drugs that could be useful for disease treatment, yet this technology has only been minimally applied in other applications such as in tissue regeneration. In this work, an assay for the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) was developed and used to screen a library of small molecules for their potential as either promoters or inhibitors of osteogenesis, based on levels of alkaline phosphatase activity and cellular viability. From a library of 1,040 molecules, 36 promoters, and 20 inhibitors were identified as hits based on statistical criteria. Osteopromoters from this library were further investigated using standard culture techniques and a wider range of outcomes to verify that these compounds drive cellular differentiation. Several hits led to some improvement in the expression of alkaline phosphatase, osteogenic gene expression, and matrix mineralization by hMSCs when compared to the standard dexamethasone supplemented media and one molecule was investigated in combination with a recently identified biodegradable and osteoconductive polymer. This work illustrates the ability of HTS to more rapidly identify potential molecules to control stem cell differentiation.
Coculture of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Articular Chondrocytes Reduces Hypertrophy and Enhances Functional Properties of Engineered Cartilage
Tissue Engineering. Part A. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21142648
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being recognized as a viable cell source for cartilage repair; however, it still remains a challenge to recapitulate the functional properties of native articular cartilage using only MSCs. Additionally, MSCs may exhibit a hypertrophic phenotype under chondrogenic induction, resulting in calcification after ectopic transplantation. With this in mind, the objective of this study was to assess whether the addition of chondrocytes to MSC cultures influences the properties of tissue-engineered cartilage and MSC hypertrophy when cultured in hyaluronic acid hydrogels. Mixed cell populations (human MSCs and human chondrocytes at a ratio of 4:1) were encapsulated in the hydrogels and exhibited significantly higher Young's moduli, dynamic moduli, glycosaminoglycan levels, and collagen content than did constructs seeded with only MSCs or chondrocytes. Furthermore, the deposition of collagen X, a marker of MSC hypertrophy, was significantly lower in the coculture constructs than in the constructs seeded with MSCs alone. When MSCs and chondrocytes were cultured in distinct gels, but in the same wells, there was no improvement in biomechanical and biochemical properties of the engineered tissue, implying that a close proximity is essential. This approach can be used to improve the properties and prevent calcification of engineered cartilage formed from MSC-seeded hydrogels with the addition of lower fractions of chondrocytes, leading to improved clinical outcomes.
Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21161462
The left ventricular response to a myocardial infarction is a complex biomechanical process that is only beginning to be understood. Infarct expansion (stretching) is an immediate and progressive phenomenon that is known to initiate and sustain the ventricular dilatation and global loss of contractile function that leads to symptomatic heart failure. Limitation of infarct expansion has, therefore, been identified as a potential therapeutic goal that could reduce the morbidity and cost associated with adverse infarction-induced ventricular remodeling and the symptomatic heart failure that results from it. This review will present experimental work that demonstrates the central importance of infarct expansion to the remodeling process as well as proof-of-concept studies that establish the efficacy of early mechanical infarct restraint for limiting ventricular remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI). Ventricular restraint with polymeric mesh materials (wraps) placed early after MI will be discussed. Data supporting the use of injected acellular biomaterials to alter infarct material properties (stiffness) and geometry (thickness) will also be presented. This approach has been shown to be effective in our laboratory and others in limiting post-infarction remodeling and represents a potential means for limiting infarct expansion early after MI via minimally invasive catheter-based technology.
Biomaterials. Mar, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22177842
Injected therapeutics, such as cells or biological molecules, may have enhanced efficiency when delivered within a scaffold carrier. Here, we describe a dual-component Dock-and-Lock (DnL) self-assembly mechanism that can be used to construct shear-thinning, self-healing, and injectable hydrogels. One component is derived from the RIIα subunit of cAMP-dependent kinase A and is engineered as a telechelic protein with end groups that dimerize (docking step). The second component is derived from the anchoring domain of A-kinase anchoring protein (AD) and is attached to multi-arm crosslinker polymers and binds to the docked proteins (locking step). When mixed, these two DnL components form robust physical hydrogels instantaneously and under physiological conditions. Mechanical properties and erosion rates of DnL gels can be tuned through the AD peptide sequence, the concentration and ratio of each component, and the number of peptides on the cross-linking polymer. DnL gels immediately self-recover after deformation, are resistant to yield at strains as high as 400%, and completely self-heal irrespective of prior mechanical disruption. Mesenchymal stem cells mixed in DnL gels and injected through a fine needle remain highly viable (>90%) during the encapsulation and delivery process, and encapsulated large molecules are released with profiles that correspond to gel erosion. Thus, we have used molecular engineering strategies to develop cytocompatible and injectable hydrogels that have the potential to support cell and drug therapies.
Ischemia Induces P-selectin-mediated Selective Progenitor Cell Engraftment in the Isolated-perfused Heart
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22047808
Clinical trials infusing Bone Marrow Cells (BMCs) into injured hearts have produced measureable improvements in cardiac performance, but were insufficient to improve patient outcomes. Low engraftment rates are cited as probable contributor to limited improvements. To understand the mechanisms that control myocardial engraftment of BMCs following ischemia-reperfusion injury, in isolated-perfused mouse hearts, stop-flow ischemia was followed by variable-duration reperfusion (0-60 min) before addition of labeled syngenic BMCs to the perfusate. After a buffer-only wash, the heart was disaggregated. Retained BMCs (digest) and infused BMCs (aliquot) were compared by flow cytometry for c-kit and CD45 expression to determine the proportion of cell subtypes engrafted versus delivered (selectivity ratio). In these studies, a time-dependent selective retention of c-kit(+) cells was apparent starting at 30 min of reperfusion, at which time c-kit(+)/CD45(+) BMCs showed a selectivity ratio of 18 ± 2 (versus 2 ± 1 in sham-ischemic controls). To study the underlying mechanism for this selective retention, neutralizing antibodies for P-selectin or L-selectin were infused into the heart preparation and incubated with BMCs prior to BMC infusion. Blocking P-selectin in ischemic hearts ablated selectivity for c-kit(+)/CD45(+) BMCs at 30 min reperfusion (selectivity ratio of 3 ± 1) while selectivity persisted in the presence of L-selectin neutralization (selectivity ratio of 17 ± 2). To corroborate this finding, a parallel plate flow chamber was used to study capture and rolling dynamics of purified c-kit(+) versus c-kit- BMCs on various selectin molecules. C-kit(+) BMCs interacted weakly with L-selectin substrates (0.03 ± 0.01% adhered) but adhered strongly to P-selectin (0.28±0.04% adhered). C-kit- BMCs showed intermediate binding regardless of substrate (0.18 ± 0.04% adhered on L-selectin versus 0.17 ± 0.04% adhered on P-selectin). Myocardial ischemia-reperfusion stress induces selective engraftment of c-kit(+) bone marrow progenitor cells via P-selectin activation.