Absorbable biomaterials have been recently incorporated into the field of tissue engineering. Little work has been performed, even with the clinically acceptable absorbables, concerning their tissue promoting capability or lack, thereof. Furthermore, the relative attractions of cells to these implants may be largely disguised by the presence of serum. This research involved the development of an adhesion assay to compare the adhesion behavior of two cell types to two different polylactides in a serum free environment. The results showed that the attachment behavior depends not only on the cell or the polymer but a combination of the two.
PURPOSE: To report a case of a recurring mass with an unusual origin on the eyelid of a 34-year-old man.
METHOD: Case report.
RESULT: Histology demonstrated that the mass was a pilomatrix carcinoma.
CONCLUSION: An atypical mass with unusual symptoms or signs needs definitive treatment and diagnostic confirmation with histology.
Because of their easy access, and important role in oral homeostasis, mammalian salivary glands provide a unique site for addressing key issues and problems in tissue engineering. This manuscript reviews studies by us in three major directions involving re-engineering functions of salivary epithelial cells. Using adenoviral-mediated gene transfer in vivo, we show approaches to i) repair damaged, hypofunctional glands and ii) redesign secretory functions to include endocrine as well as exocrine pathways. The third series of studies show our general approach to develop an artificial salivary gland for clinical situations in which all glandular tissue has been lost.
Alginate hydrogels are used extensively in cell encapsulation, cell transplantation, and tissue engineering applications. Alginates possess many favorable properties required in biomaterials, but are unable to specifically interact with mammalian cells. We have therefore covalently modified alginate polysaccharides with RGD-containing cell adhesion ligands utilizing aqueous carbodiimide chemistry. The chemistry has been optimized and quantified with reaction efficiencies reaching 80% or greater. The concentration of peptide available for reaction was then varied to create hydrogels with a range of ligand densities. Mouse skeletal myoblasts were cultured on alginate hydrogel surfaces coupled with GRGDY peptides to illustrate achievement of cellular interaction with the otherwise non-adhesive hydrogel substrate. Myoblasts adhere to GRGDY-modified alginate surfaces, proliferate, fuse into multinucleated myofibrils, and express heavy-chain myosin which is a differentiation marker for skeletal muscle. Myoblast adhesion and spreading on these GRGDY-modified hydrogels was inhibited with soluble ligand added to the seeding medium, illustrating the specificity of adhesion to these materials. Alginate may prove to be an ideal material with which to confer specific cellular interactive properties, potentially allowing for the control of long-term gene expression of cells within these matrices.
BACKGROUND: Our laboratory is investigating the tissue engineering of small intestine using intestinal epithelial organoid units seeded onto highly porous biodegradable polymer tubes. This study investigated methods of stimulation for optimizing neointestinal regeneration.
METHODS: Intestinal epithelial organoid units harvested from neonatal Lewis rats were seeded onto porous biodegradable polymer tubes and implanted into the omentum of adult Lewis rats in the following groups: (1) the control group (group C), implantation alone (n=9); (2) the small bowel resection (SBr) group, after 75% SBr (n=9); (3) the portacaval shunt (PCS) group, after PCS (n=8); and (4) the partial hepatectomy (PH) group, after 75% PH (n=8). Neointestinal cyst size was recorded using ultrasonography. Constructs were harvested at 10 weeks and were examined using histology. Morphometric analysis of the neomucosa was obtained using a computer image analysis program (NIH Image, version 1.59).
RESULTS: Cyst development was noted in all animals. Cyst lengths and diameters were significantly larger in the SBr group at 7 and 10 weeks compared with the other three groups (P<0.05; analysis of variance [ANOVA], Fisher's protected least significant difference). Histology revealed a well-vascularized tissue with a neomucosa lining the lumen with invaginations resembling crypt-villus structures. Morphometric analysis demonstrated a significantly greater villus number, height, area, and mucosal surface in the SBr group compared with the other three groups and a significantly greater crypt number and area in the PCS group compared with group C (P<0.05; ANOVA, Fisher's protected least significant difference).
CONCLUSIONS: Intestinal epithelial organoid units transplanted on porous biodegradable polymer tubes can successfully vascularize, survive, and regenerate into complex tissue resembling small intestine. SBr and, to a lesser extent, PCS provide significant regenerative stimuli for the morphogenesis and differentiation of tissue-engineered small intestine.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Hepatotrophic factors in the portal blood are critically important for the survival of heterotopically transplanted hepatocytes. Currently, no model exists for the implantation of hepatocytes on biodegradable polymer scaffolds with direct access to the portal blood. This study investigates the use of small intestinal submucosa (SIS) as a small-caliber venous conduit that may be used for the implantation of tissue-engineered liver.
METHODS: SIS was prepared from segments of rat jejunum and implanted as a venous conduit between the portal vein and inferior vena cava in 26 heparinized Lewis rats. Venograms were performed periodically, and the grafts were harvested at various time-points and examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology. Von Willebrand Factor (vWF) staining was performed to assess endothelialization.
RESULTS: Five rats died of technical complications. Seventeen of 21 rats (81%) maintained patent grafts at the time of death up to 8 weeks. Venograms demonstrated patent grafts at 3 and 8 weeks. SEM results showed a smooth luminal surface with endothelial-like cells by 3 weeks. Histology demonstrated a confluent luminal endothelial monolayer, absence of thrombus, and neovascularization in the SIS graft. VWF staining results were positive, confirming the growth of endothelial cells on the luminal surface. In preliminary studies, implantation of hepatocytes seeded on biodegradable polymer tubes into the SIS graft demonstrated clusters of viable cells after 2 days.
CONCLUSIONS: Rat SIS can be prepared readily, maintains high patency as a small-caliber venous graft, and may be a useful model for the transplantation of tissue-engineered liver with access to the portal circulation.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial cell mitogen and permeability factor that is potently angiogenic in vivo. We report here studies that suggest that VEGF potentiates angiogenesis in vivo and prolongs the survival of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMECs) in vitro by inducing expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Growth-factor-enriched and serum-deficient cultures of HDMECs grown on collagen type I gels with VEGF exhibited a 4-fold and a 1.6-fold reduction, respectively, in the proportion of apoptotic cells. Enhanced HDMEC survival was associated with a dose-dependent increase in Bcl-2 expression and a decrease in the expression of the processed forms of the cysteine protease caspase-3. Cultures of HDMECs transduced with and overexpressing Bcl-2 and deprived of growth factors showed enhanced protection from apoptosis and exhibited a twofold increase in cell number and a fourfold increase in the number of capillary-like sprouts. HDMECs overexpressing Bcl-2 when incorporated into polylactic acid sponges and implanted into SCID mice exhibited a sustained fivefold increase in the number of microvessels and a fourfold decrease in the number of apoptotic cells when examined 7 and 14 days later. These results suggest that the angiogenic activity attributed to VEGF may be due in part to its ability to enhance endothelial cell survival by inducing expression of Bcl-2.
We show that the appropriate combinations of mechanical stimuli and polymeric scaffolds can enhance the mechanical properties of engineered tissues. The mechanical properties of tissues engineered from cells and polymer scaffolds are significantly lower than the native tissues they replace. We hypothesized that application of mechanical stimuli to engineered tissues would alter their mechanical properties. Smooth muscle tissue was engineered on two different polymeric scaffolds and subjected to cyclic mechanical strain. Short-term application of strain increased proliferation of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and expression of collagen and elastin, but only when SMCs were adherent to specific scaffolds. Long-term application of cyclic strain upregulated elastin and collagen gene expression and led to increased organization in tissues. This resulted in more than an order of magnitude increase in the mechanical properties of the tissues.
We have proposed engineering tissues by the incorporation and sustained release of plasmids encoding tissue-inductive proteins from polymer matrices. Matrices of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) were loaded with plasmid, which was subsequently released over a period ranging from days to a month in vitro. Sustained delivery of plasmid DNA from matrices led to the transfection of large numbers of cells. Furthermore, in vivo delivery of a plasmid encoding platelet-derived growth factor enhanced matrix deposition and blood vessel formation in the developing tissue. This contrasts with direct injection of the plasmid, which did not significantly affect tissue formation. This method of DNA delivery may find utility in tissue engineering and gene therapy applications.
BACKGROUND: Our laboratory is investigating the tissue engineering of small intestine using intestinal epithelial organoid units seeded onto highly porous biodegradable polymer matrices. This study investigated the effects of anastomosis of tissue-engineered intestine to native small bowel alone or combined with small bowel resection on neointestinal regeneration.
METHODS: Intestinal epithelial organoid units harvested from neonatal Lewis rats were seeded onto biodegradable polymer tubes and implanted into the omentum of adult Lewis rats as follows: (1) implantation alone (n = 9); (2) implantation followed by anastomosis to native small bowel at 3 weeks (n = 11); and (3) implantation after small bowel resection and anastomosis to native small bowel at 3 weeks (n = 8). All constructs were harvested at 10 weeks and examined by histology. Morphometric analysis of the neomucosa was obtained using a computer image analysis program.
RESULTS: Cyst development was noted in all animals. All anastomoses were patent at 10 weeks. Histology revealed the development of a vascularized tissue with a neomucosa lining the lumen of the cyst with invaginations resembling crypt-villus structures. Morphometric analysis demonstrated significantly greater villus number, villus height, crypt number, crypt area, and mucosal surface length in groups 2 and 3 compared with group 1, and significantly greater villus number, villus height, crypt area, and mucosal surface length in group 3 compared with group 2 (P < 0.05, ANOVA, Tukey test).
CONCLUSION: Intestinal epithelial organoid units transplanted on biodegradable polymer tubes can regenerate into complex tissue resembling small intestine. Anastomosis to native small bowel combined with small bowel resection and anastomosis alone contribute significant regenerative stimuli for the morphogenesis and differentiation of tissue-engineered neointestine.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of end-to-end anastomosis between tissue-engineered intestine and native small bowel and to investigate the effect of this anastomosis on their growth. Microporous biodegradable polymer tubes were created from a fiber mesh of polyglycolic acid sprayed with 5% polylactic acid. Intestinal epithelial organoid units were harvested from neonatal Lewis rats and seeded onto polymers. These constructs were implanted into the omentum of adult Lewis rats. Three weeks after the implantation, the constructs (n = 7) were anastomosed to the native jejunum in an end-to-end fashion. Ten weeks after implantation, the tissue-engineered intestine was harvested. Four of 7 rats survived for 10 weeks and the overall patency rate of the anastomosis was 78% (11 of 14 anastomosis). The maximal length of the tissue-engineered intestine at week 3 and 10 was 1.80 +/- 0.32 and 1.93 +/- 0.39 cm (mean +/- SD). Histologically, the tissue-engineered intestine was lined with a well-developed neomucosal layer that was continuous with the native intestine. We conclude that anastomosis between tissue-engineered intestine and native small bowel had a moderately high patency rate and had a positive effect on maintenance of the size of the neointestine and development of the neomucosa.
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.
It has been estimated that half the annual health care budget in the United States is spent on patients suffering from tissue loss and late stage organ failure. Critical limitations inherent in traditional therapies call for novel tissue and organ replacement strategies. This paper discusses development of biomaterials for conductive, inductive and cell-based tissue replacement strategies. Biodegradable polymer scaffolds can be used as space-filling matrices for tissue development and barriers to migration of epithelial cells in tissue conductive approaches. Inductive approaches involve sustained delivery of bioactive factors, such as protein growth factors and DNA, to alter cell function in localized regions. Factors can be released from highly porous polymer scaffolds to allow factor delivery and tissue development to occur in concert. Cell-based approaches involve seeding of cells onto polymeric scaffolds in vitro and subsequent transplantation of the scaffold. New scaffold materials are being developed that address specific tissue engineering design requirements, and in some cases attempt to mimic natural extracellular matrices. These strategies together offer the possibility of predictably forming specific tissue structures, and may provide solutions to problems such as periodontal ligament detachment, alveolar bone resorption and furcation defects.
Highly porous matrices of poly-L-lactide (PL) and polyglycolide (PG), 24, 50, or 95 mg/cc in the form of 10 x 10 x 3 mm wafers, were implanted subcutaneously (two per rat) in the flanks of 8-12-week-old female Lewis rats (n = 120). Matrices were harvested, two rats per week, for 15 weeks and examined histologically. At weeks 1 and 2, a thin fibrous capsule was present and matrices showed capillary beds and host-cell infiltration along the implant margins. By week 4, the PL specimens had some arterioles while the PG specimens still had only capillary beds. At week 7, PL had well developed arterioles, venules, and capillaries while PG began to show modest vascular beds of capillaries only. In terms of cellular ingrowth, PL remained unchanged from 7 to 15 weeks. Giant cell formation was observed wherever polymer was present. There was a loss of thickness and cell mass for both matrices over time (PG > PL) despite initial host-cell ingrowth. As both polymers degraded and were absorbed, the ingrown cells mass regressed. There was little remaining PG at 15 weeks, leaving no trace of cells that previously had ingrown and no evidence of scar tissue.
There are many clinical situations in which a large tissue mass is required to replace tissue lost to surgical resection (e.g., mastectomy). It is possible that autologous cell transplantation on biodegradable polymer matrices may provide a new therapy to engineer large tissue which can be used to treat these patients. A number of challenges must be met to engineer a large soft tissue mass. These include the design of (1) a structural framework to maintain a space for tissue development, (2) a space-filling matrix which provides for localization of transplanted cells, and (3) a strategy to enhance vascularization of the forming tissue. In this paper we provide an overview of several technologies which are under development to address these issues. Specifically, support matrices to maintain a space for tissue development have been fabricated from polymers of lactide and glycolide. The ability of these structures to resist compressive forces was regulated by the ratio of lactide to glycolide in the polymer. Smooth muscle cell seeding onto polyglycolide fiber-based matrices has been optimized to allow formation of new tissues in vitro and in vivo. Finally, polymer microsphere drug delivery technology is being developed to release vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent angiogenic molecule, at the site of tissue formation. This strategy, which combines several different technologies, may ultimately allow for the engineering of large soft tissues.
A critical need in both tissue-engineering applications and basic cell culture studies is the development of synthetic extracellular matrices (ECMs) and experimental systems that reconstitute three-dimensional cell-cell interactions and control tissue formation in vitro and in vivo. We have fabricated synthetic ECMs in the form of fiber-based fabrics, highly porous sponges, and hydrogels from biodegradable polymers (e.g., polyglycolic acid) and tested their ability to regulate tissue formation. Both cell seeding onto these synthetic ECMs and subsequent culture conditions can be varied to control initial cell-cell interactions and subsequent cell growth and tissue development. Three-dimensional tissues composed of cells of interest, matrix produced by these cells, and the synthetic ECM (until it degrades) can be created with these systems. For example, smooth muscle cells can be grown on polyglycolic acid fiber-based synthetic ECMs to produce tissues with cell densities in excess of 10(8) cells/mL. These tissues contain extensive elastin and collagen, and the smooth muscle cells within the tissue express the contractile phenotype (e.g., alpha-actin staining). Similar approaches can be used to grow a number of other tissues (e.g., dental pulp) that resemble the native tissue. These engineered tissues may provide novel experimental systems to study the role of three-dimensional intercellular signaling in tissue development and may also find clinical application as replacements to lost or damaged tissues.
Tissue engineering may provide an alternative to organ and tissue transplantation, both of which suffer from a limitation of supply. Cell transplantation using biodegradable synthetic extracellular matrices offers the possibility of creating completely natural new tissues and so replacing lost or malfunctioning organs or tissues. Synthetic extracellular matrices fabricated from biocompatible, biodegradable polymers play an important role in the formation of functional new tissue from transplanted cells. They provide a temporary scaffolding to guide new tissue growth and organization, and may provide specific signals intended to retain tissue-specific gene expression.
Nonwoven meshes of polyglycolic acid (PGA) fibers are attractive synthetic extracellular matrices (ECMs) for tissue engineering and have been used to engineer many types of tissues. However, these synthetic ECMs lack structural stability and often cannot maintain their original structure during tissue development. This makes it difficult to design an engineered tissue with a predefined configuration and dimensions. In this study, we investigated the ability of PGA fiber-based matrices bonded at their fiber crosspoints with a secondary polymer, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), to resist cellular contractile forces and maintain their predefined structure during the process of smooth muscle (SM) tissue development in vitro. Physically bonded PGA matrices exhibited a 10- to 35-fold increase in the compressive modulus over unbonded PGA matrices, depending on the mass of PLLA utilized to bond the PGA matrices. In addition, the bonded PGA matrices degraded much more slowly than the unbonded matrices. The PLLA bonding of PGA matrices had no effect on the ability of cells to adhere to the matrices. After 7 weeks in culture, the bonded matrices maintained 101 +/- 4% of their initial volume and an approximate original shape while the unbonded matrices contracted to 5 +/- 1% of their initial volume with an extreme change in their shape. At this time the bonded PGA matrices had a high cellularity, with smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and ECM proteins produced by these cells (e.g., elastin) filling the pores between PGA fibers. This study demonstrated that physically bonded PGA fiber-based matrices allow the maintenance of the configuration and dimensions of the original matrices and the development of a new tissue in a predefined three-dimensional structure. This approach may be useful for engineering a variety of tissues of various structures and shapes, and our study demonstrates the importance of matching both the initial mechanical properties and the degradation rate of a matrix to the specific tissue one is engineering.
Congrats to David and team on their recent publication in Nature Communications! Here, they utilized antigen presenting cell-mimetic scaffolds to tune CAR T-cell product functionality by controlling the precise level of stimulation during T-cell activation to accommodate individual differences in the donor cells. Check out the publication here: Enhancing CAR-T cell functionality in a patient-specific manner