Kong H, Liu J, Riddle K, Matsumoto T, Leach K, Mooney DJ. Non-viral gene delivery regulated by stiffness of cell adhesion substrates. Nat Mater. 2005;4 (6) :460-4.Abstract
Non-viral gene vectors are commonly used for gene therapy owing to safety concerns with viral vectors. However, non-viral vectors are plagued by low levels of gene transfection and cellular expression. Current efforts to improve the efficiency of non-viral gene delivery are focused on manipulations of the delivery vector, whereas the influence of the cellular environment in DNA uptake is often ignored. The mechanical properties (for example, rigidity) of the substrate to which a cell adheres have been found to mediate many aspects of cell function including proliferation, migration and differentiation, and this suggests that the mechanics of the adhesion substrate may regulate a cell's ability to uptake exogeneous signalling molecules. In this report, we present a critical role for the rigidity of the cell adhesion substrate on the level of gene transfer and expression. The mechanism relates to material control over cell proliferation, and was investigated using a fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) technique. This study provides a new material-based control point for non-viral gene therapy.
Sun Q, Chen RR, Shen Y, Mooney DJ, Rajagopalan S, Grossman MP. Sustained vascular endothelial growth factor delivery enhances angiogenesis and perfusion in ischemic hind limb. Pharm Res. 2005;22 (7) :1110-6.Abstract
PURPOSE: We hypothesized that sustained delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) using a polymer [85:15 poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG)] would enhance angiogenesis and improve perfusion of ischemic tissue. METHODS: C57BL/6J mice (n = 20/group) underwent unilateral hind limb ischemia surgery and were randomized to groups of no scaffold implantation (0-Implant), unloaded scaffold implantation (Empty-PLG), or implantation of scaffolds incorporating 3 microg of VEGF165 (PLG-VEGF). Endpoints included laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI, ischemic/nonischemic limb, %), local vessel counts, immunohistochemistry for CD31, and alpha-smooth muscle actin. In vitro release kinetics of VEGF from PLG was also measured. RESULTS: PLG-VEGF resulted in improved lower extremity perfusion vs. controls as measured by LDPI% at 7, 14, 21, and 28 days (p < 0.05). PLG-VEGF was associated with significantly greater percentage of vessels staining for CD31 and alpha-smooth muscle actin compared to the Empty-PLG or 0-Implant (p < 0.05 for both). CONCLUSIONS: The PLG-VEGF scaffolds resulted in sustained VEGF delivery, improved tissue perfusion, greater capillary density, and more mature vasculature compared to the controls. The sustained-release PLG polymer vehicle is a promising delivery system for therapeutic neovascularization applications.
Kong H, Alsberg E, Kaigler D, Lee KY, Mooney DJ. Controlling Degradation of Hydrogels via the Size of Cross-Linked Junctions. Adv Mater. 2004;16 (21) :1917-1921.
Genes NG, Rowley JA, Mooney DJ, Bonassar LJ. Effect of substrate mechanics on chondrocyte adhesion to modified alginate surfaces. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004;422 (2) :161-7.Abstract
This study characterized the attachment of chondrocytes to RGD-functionalized alginate by examining the effect of substrate stiffness on cell attachment and morphology. Bovine chondrocytes were added to wells coated with 2% alginate or RGD-alginate. The alginate was crosslinked with divalent cations ranging from 1.25 to 62.5 mmol/g alginate. Attachment to RGD-alginate was 10-20 times higher than attachment to unmodified alginate and was significantly inhibited by antibodies to integrin subunits alpha3l and beta1, cytochalasin-D, and soluble RGD peptide. The equilibrium level and rate of attachment increased with crosslink density and substrate stiffness. Substrate stiffness also regulated chondrocyte morphology, which changed from a rounded shape with nebulous actin on weaker substrates to a predominantly flat morphology with actin stress fibers on stiffer substrates. The dependence of attachment on integrins and substrate stiffness suggests that chondrocyte integrins may play a role in sensing the mechanical properties of the matrices to which they are attached.
Fiegel HC, Havers J, Kneser U, Smith MK, Moeller T, Kluth D, Mooney DJ, Rogiers X, Kaufmann PM. Influence of flow conditions and matrix coatings on growth and differentiation of three-dimensionally cultured rat hepatocytes. Tissue Eng. 2004;10 (1-2) :165-74.Abstract
Maintenance of liver-specific function of hepatocytes in culture is still difficult. Improved culture conditions may enhance the cell growth and function of cultured cells. We investigated the effect of three-dimensional culture under flow conditions, and the influence of surface modifications in hepatocyte cultures. Hepatocytes were harvested from Lewis rats. Cells were cultured on three-dimensional polymeric poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) matrices in static culture, or in a pulsatile flow-bioreactor system. Different surface modifications of matrices were investigated: coating with collagen I, collagen IV, laminin, or fibronectin; or uncoated matrix. Hepatocyte numbers, DNA content, and albumin secretion rate were assessed over the observation period. Culture under flow condition significantly enhanced cell numbers. An additional improvement of this effect was observed, when matrix coating was used. Cellular function also showed a significant increase (4- to 5-fold) under flow conditions when compared with static culture. Our data showed that culture under flow conditions improves cell number, and strongly enhances cellular function. Matrix modification by coating with extracellular matrix showed overall an additive stimulatory effect. Our conclusion is that combining three-dimensional culture under flow conditions and using matrix modification significantly improves culture conditions and is therefore attractive for the development of successful culture systems for hepatocytes.
Murphy WL, Simmons CA, Kaigler D, Mooney DJ. Bone regeneration via a mineral substrate and induced angiogenesis. J Dent Res. 2004;83 (3) :204-10.Abstract
Angiogenesis and biomineral substrates play major roles in bone development and regeneration. We hypothesized that macroporous scaffolds of biomineralized 85:15 poly(lactide-co-glycolide), which locally release vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (VEGF), would direct simultaneous regeneration of bone and vascular tissue. The presence of a bone-like biomineral substrate significantly increased regeneration of osteoid matrix (32 +/- 7% of total tissue area; mean +/- SD; p < 0.05) and mineralized tissue (14 +/- 2%; P < 0.05) within a rat cranium critical defect compared with a non-mineralized polymer scaffold (19 +/- 8% osteoid and 10 +/- 2% mineralized tissue). Further, the addition of VEGF to a mineralized substrate significantly increased the generation of mineralized tissue (19 +/- 4%; P < 0.05) compared with mineralized substrate alone. This appeared to be due to a significant increase in vascularization throughout VEGF-releasing scaffolds (52 +/- 9 vessels/mm(2); P < 0.05) compared with mineralized scaffolds without VEGF (34 +/- 4 vessels/mm(2)). Surprisingly, there was no significant difference in total osteoid between the two samples, suggesting that increased vascularization enhances mineralized tissue generation, but not necessarily osteoid formation. These results indicate that induced angiogenesis can enhance tissue regeneration, supporting the concept of therapeutic angiogenesis in tissue-engineering strategies.
Lee KY, Bouhadir KH, Mooney DJ. Controlled degradation of hydrogels using multi-functional cross-linking molecules. Biomaterials. 2004;25 (13) :2461-6.Abstract
Hydrogels, chemically cross-linked or physically entangled, have found a number of applications as novel delivery vehicles of drugs and cells. However, the narrow ranges of degradation rates and mechanical strength currently available from many hydrogels limits their applications. We have hypothesized that utilization of multi-functional cross-linking molecules to form hydrogels could provide a wider range and tighter control over the degradation rates and mechanical stiffness of gels than bi-functional cross-linking molecules. To address the possibility, we isolated alpha-L-guluronate residues of sodium alginate, and oxidized them to prepare poly(aldehyde guluronate) (PAG). Hydrogels were formed with either poly(acrylamide-co-hydrazide) (PAH) as a multi-functional cross-linking molecule or adipic acid dihydrazide (AAD) as a bi-functional cross-linking molecule. The initial properties and degradation behavior of both PAG gel types were monitored. PAG/PAH hydrogels showed higher mechanical stiffness before degradation and degraded more slowly than PAG/AAD gels, at the same concentration of cross-linking functional groups. The enhanced mechanical stiffness and prolonged degradation behavior could be attributed to the multiple attachment points of PAH in the gel at the same concentration of functional groups. This approach to regulating gel properties with multifunctional cross-linking molecules could be broadly used in hydrogels.
Smith MK, Peters MC, Richardson TP, Garbern JC, Mooney DJ. Locally enhanced angiogenesis promotes transplanted cell survival. Tissue Eng. 2004;10 (1-2) :63-71.Abstract
A developing therapy for complete or partial loss of function in various tissues and organs involves transplanting an appropriate cell population, capable of compensating for the existing deficiencies. Clinical application of this type of strategy is currently limited by the death or dedifferentiation of the transplanted cells after delivery to the recipient. A delay in thorough vascularization of the implant area creates an environment low in oxygen and other nutrients, and likely contributes to the initial death of transplanted cells. We have addressed this problem by sustained delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an initiator of angiogenesis, from a porous polymer matrix utilized simultaneously for cell delivery. As expected from previous studies, VEGF delivered from these constructs elicited an enhanced angiogenic response over a 2-week period when implanted subcutaneously in SCID mice. Hepatocytes implanted using VEGF-containing matrices demonstrated significantly greater survival after 1 week in vivo as compared with cells implanted on matrices without growth factor. The results of this study therefore indicate that enhancing vascularization in the location of transplanted cells promotes their survival. In addition, this delivery system may be used in future studies to directly promote cell survival and function by also providing growth factors specific to the transplanted cells.
Drury JL, Dennis RG, Mooney DJ. The tensile properties of alginate hydrogels. Biomaterials. 2004;25 (16) :3187-99.Abstract
Alginate hydrogels are currently being employed and explored for a broad range of medical applications including cell encapsulation, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. In these capacities, knowledge of the mechanical and material properties of the hydrogels and the properties that govern and influence them is necessary to adequately design and effectively use these systems. Although much is known about the mechanical properties of alginate in compression and shear, little is known about the tensile characteristics. Thus, an extensive tensile assessment of alginate hydrogels was completed as a function of alginate type, formulation, gelling conditions, incubation, and strain rate. In general, the initial tensile behavior and properties of alginate hydrogels were highly dependent on the choice of the alginate polymer and how it was processed. Specifically, high guluronic acid containing alginate polymers yielded stronger, more ductile hydrogels than high mannuronic acid containing alginates. The ultimate stress, ultimate strain, and tensile modulus were decreased by increased phosphate concentrations, solution reconstitution with phosphate buffered saline instead of culture media, and peptide modification. Incubation of hydrogels for at least 7 days diminished many of the initial tensile property differences associated with formulation and gelling conditions. Overall, by controlling the specific alginate polymer and processing methods, a wide range of tensile properties are available from these hydrogels.
Leach KJ, Mooney DJ. Bone engineering by controlled delivery of osteoinductive molecules and cells. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2004;4 (7) :1015-27.Abstract
Bone regeneration can be enhanced or accelerated by the delivery of osteogenic signalling factors or bone forming cells. These factors have commonly provided benefit when retained at the defect site with a delivery vehicle formed from natural or synthetic materials. Growth factors can be directly delivered as recombinant proteins or expressed by genetically modified cells to induce bone formation. Furthermore, bone regeneration has been achieved with the transplantation of various cell types that can participate in bone healing. Carriers utilised for the delivery of osteoinductive material allow for a prolonged presentation at the repair site and the timing of presentation can be readily adjusted to correspond to the extent necessary for bone regeneration. This review examines some of the recent developments in delivery systems used to manage the presentation of these factors at the desired site. Moreover, the authors provide suggestions for continued progress in bone regeneration.
Kong H, Kaigler D, Kim K, Mooney DJ. Controlling rigidity and degradation of alginate hydrogels via molecular weight distribution. Biomacromolecules. 2004;5 (5) :1720-7.Abstract
The mechanical rigidity and degradation rate of hydrogels utilized as cell transplantation vehicles have been regarded as critical factors in new tissue formation. However, conventional approaches to accelerate the degradation rate of gels deteriorate their function as a mechanical support in parallel. We hypothesized that adjusting the molecular weight distribution of polymers that are hydrolytically labile but capable of forming gels would allow one to alter the degradation rate of the gels over a broad range, while limiting the range of their elastic moduli (E). We investigated this hypothesis with binary alginate hydrogels formed from both ionically and covalently cross-linked partially oxidized (1% uronic acid residues), low [molecular weight (MW) approximately 60,000 g/mol] and high MW alginates (MW approximately 120,000 g/mol) in order to examine the utility of this approach with various cross-linking strategies. Increasing the fraction of low MW alginates to 0.50 maintained a value of E similar to that for the high MW alginate gels but led to faster degradation, irrespective of the cross-linking mode. This result was attributed to a faster separation between cross-linked domains upon chain breakages for the low MW alginates, coupled with their faster chain scission than the high MW alginates. The more rapidly degrading oxidized binary hydrogels facilitated the formation of new bone tissues from transplanted bone marrow stromal cells, as compared with the nonoxidized high MW hydrogels. The results of these studies will be useful for controlling the physical properties of a broad array of hydrogel-forming polymers.
Simmons CA, Alsberg E, Hsiong S, Kim WJ, Mooney DJ. Dual growth factor delivery and controlled scaffold degradation enhance in vivo bone formation by transplanted bone marrow stromal cells. Bone. 2004;35 (2) :562-9.Abstract
Supraphysiological concentrations of exogenous growth factors are typically required to obtain bone regeneration, and it is unclear why lower levels are not effective. We hypothesized that delivery of bone progenitor cells along with appropriate combinations of growth factors and scaffold characteristics would allow physiological doses of proteins to be used for therapeutic bone regeneration. We tested this hypothesis by measuring bone formation by rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) transplanted ectopically in SCID mice using alginate hydrogels. The alginate was gamma-irradiated to vary the degradation rate and then covalently modified with RGD-containing peptides to control cell behavior. In the same delivery vehicle, we incorporated bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) and transforming growth factor-beta3 (TGF-beta3), either individually or in combination. Individual delivery of BMP2 or TGF-beta3 resulted in negligible bone tissue formation up to 22 weeks, regardless of the implant degradation rate. In contrast, when growth factors were delivered together from readily degradable hydrogels, there was significant bone formation by the transplanted BMSCs as early as 6 weeks after implantation. Furthermore, bone formation, which appeared to occur by endochondral ossification, was achieved with the dual growth factor condition at protein concentrations that were more than an order of magnitude less than those reported previously to be necessary for bone formation. These data demonstrate that appropriate combinations of soluble and biomaterial-mediated regulatory signals in cell-based tissue engineering systems can result in both more efficient and more effective tissue regeneration.
Simmons CA, Nikolovski J, Thornton AJ, Matlis S, Mooney DJ. Mechanical stimulation and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling independently regulate osteogenic differentiation and mineralization by calcifying vascular cells. J Biomech. 2004;37 (10) :1531-41.Abstract
Ectopic calcification of vascular tissue is associated with several cardiovascular pathologies and likely involves active regulation by vascular smooth muscle cells and osteoblast-like vascular cells. This process often occurs in sites with altered mechanical environments, suggesting a role for mechanical stimuli in calcification. In this study, we investigated the effect of mechanical stimulation on the proliferation, osteogenic differentiation, calcification, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in calcifying vascular cells (CVCs), a subpopulation of aortic smooth muscle cells putatively involved in vascular calcification. Application of equibiaxial cyclic strain (7%, 0.25 Hz) to CVCs had no effect on cell proliferation, but accelerated alkaline phosphatase expression and significantly increased mineralization by 3.1-fold over unstrained cells. Fluid motion in the absence of strain also enhanced mineralization, but to a lesser degree. Because MAPK pathways mediate mechanically regulated osteoblast differentiation, we tested whether similar signaling was involved in mineralization by CVCs. In static cultures, pharmacological inhibition of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), p38 MAPK, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathways significantly attenuated mineral production by as much as -94%, compared with uninhibited CVCs. Strikingly, although mechanical stimulation activated each of the MAPK pathways, inhibition of these pathways had no effect on the mechanically induced enhancement of alkaline phosphatase activity or mineralization. These novel data indicate that mechanical signals regulate calcification by CVCs, and although MAPK signaling is critical to CVC osteogenic differentiation and mineralization, it is not involved directly in transduction of mechanical signals to regulate these processes under the conditions utilized in this study.
Thornton AJ, Alsberg E, Hill EE, Mooney DJ. Shape retaining injectable hydrogels for minimally invasive bulking. J Urol. 2004;172 (2) :763-8.Abstract
PURPOSE: Particle migration, poor shape definition and/or rapid resorption limit the success of current urethral bulking agents. We propose that shape defining porous scaffolds that allow cell infiltration and anchoring, and may be delivered in a minimally invasive manner may provide many advantageous features. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Alginate hydrogels were prepared with varying degrees of covalent cross-linking and different pore characteristics. Dehydrated scaffolds were compressed into smaller, temporary forms, introduced into the dorsal subcutaneous space of CD-1 mice by minimally invasive delivery through a 10 gauge angiocatheter and rehydrated in situ with a saline solution delivered through the same catheter. Ionically cross-linked calcium alginate gel served as a control. Specimens were harvested at 2, 6, 12 and 24 weeks to evaluate implant shape retention and volume, cell infiltration and calcification, and the presence of an inflammatory response. RESULTS: A total of 90 scaffolds were implanted and 95% were recovered at the site of injection. All of these scaffolds successfully rehydrated and 80% recovered and maintained their original 3-dimensional shape for 6 months. Scaffold volume and tissue infiltration varied depending on the degree of alginate cross-linking. Highly cross-linked materials (20% and 35%) demonstrated the best volume maintenance with the latter facilitating the most tissue infiltration. The inflammatory response was minimal except with the 80% cross-linked material. Calcification was not observed in covalently cross-linked scaffolds. In contrast, 98% of calcium alginate implants were calcified. CONCLUSIONS: Shape retaining porous hydrogels meet many of the requirements necessary for a successful injectable bulking agent and offer advantages over currently used agents.
Thornton AJ, Alsberg E, Albertelli M, Mooney DJ. Shape-defining scaffolds for minimally invasive tissue engineering. Transplantation. 2004;77 (12) :1798-803.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive surgical procedures are increasingly important in medicine, but biomaterials consistent with this delivery approach that allow one to control the structure of the material after implantation are lacking. Biomaterials with shape-memorizing properties could permit minimally invasive delivery of cell transplantation constructs and enable the formation of new tissues or structures in vivo in desired shapes and sizes. METHODS: Macroporous alginate hydrogel scaffolds were prepared in a number of predefined geometries, compressed into significantly smaller, different "temporary" forms, and introduced into immunocompromised mice by means of minimally invasive surgical delivery through a small catheter. Scaffolds were rehydrated in situ with a suspension of cells (primary bovine articular chondrocytes) or cell-free medium and delivered through the same catheter. Specimens were harvested at 1 hr to evaluate the efficacy of cell delivery and the recovery of scaffold geometry, and at 8 and 24 weeks to evaluate neotissue formation. RESULTS: A high percentage (88%) of scaffolds that were introduced with a catheter and rehydrated with cells had recovered their original shape and size within 1 hr. This delivery procedure resulted in cartilage structures with the geometry of the original scaffold by 2 months and histologically mature appearing tissue at 6 months. CONCLUSIONS: Shaped hydrogels, formed by covalently cross-linking, can be structurally collapsed into smaller, temporary shapes that permit their minimally invasive delivery in vivo. The rapid recovery of scaffold properties facilitates efficient cell seeding in vivo and permits neotissue formation in desired geometries.
Silva EA, Mooney DJ. Synthetic extracellular matrices for tissue engineering and regeneration. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2004;64 :181-205.Abstract
The need for replacement tissues or organs requires a tissue supply that cannot be satisfied by the donor supply. The tissue engineering and regeneration field is focused on the development of biological tissue and organ substitutes and may provide functional tissues to restore, maintain, or improve tissue formation. This field is already providing new therapeutic options to bypass the limitations of organ?tissue transplantation and will likely increase in medical importance in the future. This interdisciplinary field accommodates principles of life sciences and engineering and encompasses three major strategies. The first, guided tissue regeneration, relies on synthetic matrices that are conductive to host cells populating a tissue defect site and reforming the lost tissue. The second approach, inductive strategy, involves the delivery of growth factors, typically using drug delivery strategies, which are targeted to specific cell populations in the tissues surrounding the tissue defect. In the third approach, specific cell populations, typically multiplied in culture, are directly delivered to the site at which one desires to create a new tissue or organ. In all of these approaches, the knowledge acquired from developmental studies often serves as a template for the tissue engineering approach for a specific tissue or organ. This article overviews the development of synthetic extracellular matrices (ECMs) for use in tissue engineering that aim to mimic functions of the native ECM of developing and regenerating tissues. In addition to the potential therapeutic uses of these materials, they also provide model systems for basic studies that may shed light on developmental processes.
Grimmer FJ, Gunnlaugsson CB, Alsberg E, Murphy HS, Kong H, Mooney DJ, Weatherly RA. Tracheal reconstruction using tissue-engineered cartilage. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130 (10) :1191-6.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To determine whether rabbit cartilage can be tissue engineered using a polyglycolic acid (PGA) construct composed of PGA mesh, autologous chondrocytes, and alginate covalently linked with the cell adhesion sequence arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD), and to investigate the feasibility of reconstructing tracheal defects using the PGA construct in conjunction with a bioabsorbable intratracheal stent. METHODS: Nineteen New Zealand White rabbits were used. Nine rabbits underwent subcutaneous implantation of 3 different PGA construct combinations: (1) PGA, autologous chondrocytes, and RGD-modified alginate; (2) PGA, autologous chondrocytes, and unmodified alginate; and (3) PGA and RGD-modified alginate. The remaining 10 animals underwent anterior tracheal reconstruction using fascia lata grafts and the complete PGA construct (PGA, autologous chondrocytes, and RGD-modified alginate). At the time of tracheal reconstruction, a poly-l-lactic acid intratracheal stent was placed in 5 of these latter animals. Rates of tracheal stenosis and mortality were compared with those of historical control animals. Histologic analysis was performed on the PGA constructs. RESULTS: In the subcutaneous implants, the PGA constructs made with chondrocytes (with and without RGD) demonstrated mature cartilage formation in 7 (78%) of the 9 animals. No cartilage was seen in PGA constructs made without chondrocytes. Two of the 10 animals that underwent tracheal reconstruction with the complete PGA construct survived to 20 weeks and demonstrated patent airways, 1 with a stent and 1 without a stent (80% overall mortality). Histologic analysis showed mature cartilage formation at the tracheal reconstruction site. Historical control animals that underwent reconstruction with fascia lata alone demonstrated the lowest overall mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Cartilage can be tissue engineered in rabbits using PGA mesh embedded with alginate-encapsulated autologous chondrocytes. It is also possible to reconstruct tracheal defects with this method of cartilage engineering, although the mortality rate in this study is high.
Riddle KW, Mooney DJ. Role of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) particle size on gas-foamed scaffolds. J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2004;15 (12) :1561-70.Abstract
Macroporous polymeric scaffolds are frequently used in tissue engineering to allow for cell seeding and host cell invasion of the scaffold following implantation. The process of gas foaming/particulate leaching (GF/PL) is one method to form porous three dimensional scaffolds from particulate poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG). The current study was designed to test the hypothesis that the size of the polymer particles used in this process will control the properties of the scaffolds. Scaffolds were prepared from PLG particles of various sizes (less than 75 microm, 75-106 microm, 106-250 microm and 250-425 microm) and subsequently analyzed. Scaffolds formed from large particles (250-425 microm) displayed significantly decreased compressive moduli, as compared to scaffolds fabricated from smaller particles. In addition, these scaffolds have a pore structure that is less interconnected and contains closed pores. Analysis of tissue in-growth, utilizing a novel computer-aided method, demonstrated that scaffolds formed from smaller particle sizes (less than 106 microm) have significantly more tissue penetration than those formed from larger particle sizes (greater than 106 microm). These results indicate that using small PLG particles (less than 106 microm) leads to high elastic moduli, provides a more interconnected pore structure and promotes greater tissue penetration into the scaffolds in vivo.
Lee S-H, Kim B-S, Kim SH, Choi SW, Jeong SI, Kwon IK, Kang SW, Nikolovski J, Mooney DJ, Han Y-K, et al. Elastic biodegradable poly(glycolide-co-caprolactone) scaffold for tissue engineering. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2003;66 (1) :29-37.Abstract
Cyclic mechanical strain has been demonstrated to enhance the development and function of engineered smooth muscle (SM) tissues, and it would be necessary for the development of the elastic scaffolds if one wishes to engineer SM tissues under cyclic mechanical loading. This study reports on the development of an elastic scaffold fabricated from a biodegradable polymer. Biodegradable poly(glycolide-co-caprolactone) (PGCL) copolymer was synthesized from glycolide and epsilon-caprolactone in the presence of stannous octoate as catalyst. The copolymer was characterized by (1)H-NMR, gel permeation chromatography and differential scanning calorimetry. Scaffolds for tissue engineering applications were fabricated from PGCL copolymer using the solvent-casting and particle-leaching technique. The PGCL scaffolds produced in this fashion had open pore structures (average pore size = 250 microm) without the usual nonporous skin layer on external surfaces. Mechanical testing revealed that PGCL scaffolds were far more elastic than poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds fabricated using the same method. Tensile mechanical tests indicated that PGCL scaffolds could withstand an extension of 250% without cracking, which was much higher than withstood by PLGA scaffolds (10-15%). In addition, PGCL scaffolds achieved recoveries exceeding 96% at applied extensions of up to 230%, whereas PLGA scaffolds failed (cracked) at an applied strain of 20%. Dynamic mechanical tests showed that the permanent deformation of the PGCL scaffolds in a dry condition produced was less than 4% of the applied strain, when an elongation of 20% at a frequency of 1 Hz (1 cycle per second) was applied for 6 days. Moreover, PGCL scaffolds in a buffer solution also had permanent deformations less than 5% of the applied strain when an elongation of 10% at a frequency of 1 Hz was applied for 2 days. The usefulness of the PGCL scaffolds was demonstrated by engineering SM tissues in vivo. This study shows that the elastic PGCL scaffolds produced in this study could be used to engineer SM-containing tissues (e.g. blood vessels and bladders) in mechanically dynamic environments.
Polverini PJ, Nör JE, Peters MC, Mooney DJ. Growth of human blood vessels in severe combined immunodeficient mice. A new in vivo model system of angiogenesis. Methods Mol Med. 2003;78 :161-77.