In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (4)

Articles by Elda Hegmann in JoVE

Other articles by Elda Hegmann on PubMed

Biocompatible, Biodegradable and Porous Liquid Crystal Elastomer Scaffolds for Spatial Cell Cultures

Macromolecular Bioscience. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25303674

Here we report on the modular synthesis and characterization of biodegradable, controlled porous, liquid crystal elastomers (LCE) and their use as three-dimensional cell culture scaffolds. The elastomers were prepared by cross-linking of star block-co-polymers with pendant cholesterol units resulting in the formation of smectic-A LCEs as determined by polarized optical microscopy, DSC, and X-ray diffraction. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the porosity of the as-prepared biocompatible LCEs, making them suitable as 3D cell culture scaffolds. Biodegradability studies in physiological buffers at varying pH show that these scaffolds are intact for about 11 weeks after which degradation sets in at an exponential rate. Initial results from cell culture studies indicate that these smectic LCEs are compatible with growth, survival, and expansion of cultured neuroblastomas and myoblasts when grown on the LCEs for extended time periods (about a month). These preliminary cell studies focused on characterizing the elastomer-based scaffolds' biocompatibility and the successful 3D incorporation as well as growth of cells in 60 to 150-μm thick elastomer sheets.

Production and Characterization of a Camelid Single Domain Antibody-urease Enzyme Conjugate for the Treatment of Cancer

Bioconjugate Chemistry. Jun, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25938892

A novel immunoconjugate (L-DOS47) was developed and characterized as a therapeutic agent for tumors expressing CEACAM6. The single domain antibody AFAIKL2, which targets CEACAM6, was expressed in the Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) pT7-7 system. High purity urease (HPU) was extracted and purified from Jack bean meal. AFAIKL2 was activated using N-succinimidyl [4-iodoacetyl] aminobenzoate (SIAB) as the cross-linker and then conjugated to urease. The activation and conjugation reactions were controlled by altering pH. Under these conditions, the material ratio achieved conjugation ratios of 8-11 antibodies per urease molecule, the residual free urease content was practically negligible (<2%), and high purity (>95%) L-DOS47 conjugate was produced using only ultradiafiltration to remove unreacted antibody and hydrolyzed cross-linker. L-DOS47 was characterized by a panel of analytical techniques including SEC, IEC, Western blot, ELISA, and LC-MS(E) peptide mapping. As the antibody-urease conjugate ratio increased, a higher binding signal was observed. The specificity and cytotoxicity of L-DOS47 was confirmed by screening in four cell lines (BxPC-3, A549, MCF7, and CEACAM6-transfected H23). BxPC-3, a CEACAM6-expressing cell line was found to be most susceptible to L-DOS47. L-DOS47 is being investigated as a potential therapeutic agent in human phase I clinical studies for nonsmall cell lung cancer.

Liquid Crystal Elastomer Microspheres As Three-Dimensional Cell Scaffolds Supporting the Attachment and Proliferation of Myoblasts

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26075811

We report that liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), often portrayed as artificial muscles, serve as scaffolds for skeletal muscle cell. A simultaneous microemulsion photopolymerization and cross-linking results in nematic LCE microspheres 10-30 μm in diameter that when conjoined form a LCE construct that serves as the first proof-of-concept for responsive LCE muscle cell scaffolds. Confocal microscopy experiments clearly established that LCEs with a globular, porous morphology permit both attachment and proliferation of C2C12 myoblasts, while the nonporous elastomer morphology, prepared in the absence of a microemulsion, does not. In addition, cytotoxicity and proliferation assays confirm that the liquid crystal elastomer materials are biocompatible promoting cellular proliferation without any inherent cytotoxicity.

Effects of Structural Variations on the Cellular Response and Mechanical Properties of Biocompatible, Biodegradable, and Porous Smectic Liquid Crystal Elastomers

Macromolecular Bioscience. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27805765

The authors report on series of side-chain smectic liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) cell scaffolds based on star block-copolymers featuring 3-arm, 4-arm, and 6-arm central nodes. A particular focus of these studies is placed on the mechanical properties of these LCEs and their impact on cell response. The introduction of diverse central nodes allows to alter and custom-modify the mechanical properties of LCE scaffolds to values on the same order of magnitude of various tissues of interest. In addition, it is continued to vary the position of the LC pendant group. The central node and the position of cholesterol pendants in the backbone of ε-CL blocks (alpha and gamma series) affect the mechanical properties as well as cell proliferation and particularly cell alignment. Cell directionality tests are presented demonstrating that several LCE scaffolds show cell attachment, proliferation, narrow orientational dispersion of cells, and highly anisotropic cell growth on the as-synthesized LCE materials.

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