Scaffolds for engineering smooth muscle under cyclic mechanical strain conditions

Date Published:

2000 Jun


Cyclic mechanical strain has been demonstrated to enhance the development and function of engineered smooth muscle (SM) tissues, but appropriate scaffolds for engineering tissues under conditions of cyclic strain are currently lacking. These scaffolds must display elastic behavior, and be capable of inducing an appropriate smooth muscle cell (SMC) phenotype in response to mechanical signals. In this study, we have characterized several scaffold types commonly utilized in tissue engineering applications in order to select scaffolds that exhibit elastic properties under appropriate cyclic strain conditions. The ability of the scaffolds to promote an appropriate SMC phenotype in engineered SM tissues under cyclic strain conditions was subsequently analyzed. Poly(L-lactic acid)-bonded polyglycolide fiber-based scaffolds and type I collagen sponges exhibited partially elastic mechanical properties under cyclic strain conditions, although the synthetic polymer scaffolds demonstrated significant permanent deformation after extended times of cyclic strain application. SM tissues engineered with type I collagen sponges subjected to cyclic strain were found to contain more elastin than control tissues, and the SMCs in these tissues exhibited a contractile phenotype. In contrast, SMCs in control tissues exhibited a structure more consistent with the nondifferentiated, synthetic phenotype. These studies indicate the appropriate choice of a scaffold for engineering tissues in a mechanically dynamic environment is dependent on the time frame of the mechanical stimulation, and elastic scaffolds allow for mechanically directed control of cell phenotype in engineered tissues.
Last updated on 09/29/2017