Engineered smooth muscle tissues: regulating cell phenotype with the scaffold


Kim BS, Nikolovski J, Bonadio J, Smiley E, Mooney DJ. Engineered smooth muscle tissues: regulating cell phenotype with the scaffold. Exp Cell Res. 1999;251 (2) :318-28.

Date Published:

1999 Sep 15


Culturing cells on three-dimensional, biodegradable scaffolds may create tissues suitable either for reconstructive surgery applications or as novel in vitro model systems. In this study, we have tested the hypothesis that the phenotype of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) in three-dimensional, engineered tissues is regulated by the chemistry of the scaffold material. Specifically, we have directly compared cell growth and patterns of extracellular matrix (ECM) (e.g. , elastin and collagen) gene expression on two types of synthetic polymer scaffolds and type I collagen scaffolds. The growth rates of SMCs on the synthetic polymer scaffolds were significantly higher than on type I collagen sponges. The rate of elastin production by SMCs on polyglycolic acid (PGA) scaffolds was 3.5 +/- 1.1-fold higher than that on type I collagen sponges on Day 11 of culture. In contrast, the collagen production rate on type I collagen sponges was 3.3 +/- 1.1-fold higher than that on PGA scaffolds. This scaffold-dependent switching between elastin and collagen gene expression was confirmed by Northern blot analysis. The finding that the scaffold chemistry regulates the phenotype of SMCs independent of the scaffold physical form was confirmed by culturing SMCs on two-dimensional films of the scaffold materials. It is likely that cells adhere to these scaffolds via different ligands, as the major protein adsorbed from the serum onto synthetic polymers was vitronectin, whereas fibronectin and vitronectin were present at high density on type I collagen sponges. In summary, this study demonstrates that three-dimensional smooth muscle-like tissues can be created by culturing SMCs on three-dimensional scaffolds, and that the phenotype of the SMCs is strongly regulated by the scaffold chemistry. These engineered tissues provide novel, three-dimensional models to study cellular interaction with ECM in vitro.
Last updated on 09/29/2017