Fibroblast-mediated compaction of collagen gels attracts extensive attention in studies of wound healing, cellular fate processes, and regenerative medicine. However, the underlying mechanism and the cellular mechanical niche still remain obscure. This study examines the mechanical behaviour of collagen fibrils during the process of compaction from an alternative perspective on the primary mechanical interaction, providing a new viewpoint on the behaviour of populated fibroblasts. We classify the collagen fibrils into three types - bent, stretched, and adherent - and deduce the respective equations governing the mechanical behaviour of each type; in particular, from a putative principle based on the stationary state of the instantaneous Hamiltonian of the mechanotransduction system, we originally quantify the stretching force exerted on each stretched fibrils. Via careful verification of a structural elementary model based on this classification, we demonstrate a clear physical picture of the compaction process, quantitatively elucidate the panorama of the micro mechanical niche and reveal an intrinsic biphasic relationship between cellular traction force and matrix elasticity. Our results also infer the underlying mechanism of tensional homoeostasis and stress shielding of fibroblasts. With this study, and sequel investigations on the putative principle proposed herein, we anticipate a refocus of the research on cellular mechanobiology, in vitro and in vivo.
The purification of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) from human adipose tissue cells (stromal vascular fraction) was investigated using membrane filtration through poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid)/silk screen hybrid membranes. Membrane filtration methods are attractive in regenerative medicine because they reduce the time required to purify hADSCs (i.e., less than 30 min) compared with conventional culture methods, which require 5-12 days. hADSCs expressing the mesenchymal stem cell markers CD44, CD73, and CD90 were concentrated in the permeation solution from the hybrid membranes. Expression of the surface markers CD44, CD73, and CD99 on the cells in the permeation solution from the hybrid membranes, which were obtained using 18 mL of feed solution containing 50 × 10⁴ cells, was statistically significantly higher than that of the primary adipose tissue cells, indicating that the hADSCs can be purified in the permeation solution by the membrane filtration method. Cells expressing the stem cell-associated marker CD34 could be successfully isolated in the permeation solution, whereas CD34⁺ cells could not be purified by the conventional culture method. The hADSCs in the permeation solution demonstrated a superior capacity for osteogenic differentiation based on their alkali phosphatase activity, their osterix gene expression, and the results of mineralization analysis by Alizarin Red S and von Kossa staining compared with the cells from the suspension of human adipose tissue. These results suggest that the hADSCs capable of osteogenic differentiation preferentially permeate through the hybrid membranes.
The large surface area of highly porous titanium structures produced by additive manufacturing can be modified using biofunctionalizing surface treatments to improve the bone regeneration performance of these otherwise bioinert biomaterials. In this longitudinal study, we applied and compared three types of biofunctionalizing surface treatments, namely acid-alkali (AcAl), alkali-acid-heat treatment (AlAcH), and anodizing-heat treatment (AnH). The effects of treatments on apatite forming ability, cell attachment, cell proliferation, osteogenic gene expression, bone regeneration, biomechanical stability, and bone-biomaterial contact were evaluated using apatite forming ability test, cell culture assays, and animal experiments. It was found that AcAl and AnH work through completely different routes. While AcAl improved the apatite forming ability of as-manufactured (AsM) specimens, it did not have any positive effect on cell attachment, cell proliferation, and osteogenic gene expression. In contrast, AnH did not improve the apatite forming ability of AsM specimens but showed significantly better cell attachment, cell proliferation, and expression of osteogenic markers. The performance of AlAcH in terms of apatite forming ability and cell response was in between both extremes of AnH and AsM. AcAl resulted in significantly larger volumes of newly formed bone within the pores of the scaffold as compared to AnH. Interestingly, larger volumes of regenerated bone did not translate into improved biomechanical stability as AnH exhibited significantly better biomechanical stability as compared to AcAl suggesting that the beneficial effects of cell-nanotopography modulations somehow surpassed the benefits of improved apatite forming ability. In conclusion, the applied surface treatments have considerable effects on apatite forming ability, cell attachment, cell proliferation, and bone ingrowth of the studied biomaterials. The relationship between these properties and the bone-implant biomechanics is, however, not trivial.
Mesenchymal stems cells (MSCs) are currently the focus of numerous therapeutic approaches in tissue engineering/repair because of their wide multi-lineage potential and their ability to modulate the immune system response following transplantation. Culturing these cells, while maintaining their multipotency in vitro, currently relies on biological substrates such as gelatin, collagen and fibronectin. In addition, harvesting cells from these substrates requires enzymatic or chemical treatment, a process that will remove a multitude of cellular surface proteins, clearly an undesirable process if cells are to be used therapeutically. Herein, we applied a high-throughput 'hydrogel microarray' screening approach to identify thermo-modulatable substrates which can support hES-MP and ADMSC growth, permit gentle reagent free passaging, whilst maintaining multi-lineage potential. In summary, the hydrogel substrate identified, poly(AEtMA-Cl-co-DEAA) cross-linked with MBA, permitted MSCs to be maintained over 10 passages (each time via thermo-modulation), with the cells retaining expression of MSC associated markers and lineage potency. This chemically defined system allowed the passaging and maintenance of cellular phenotype of this clinically important cell type, in the absence of harsh passaging and the need for biological substrates.
Stem cell culture is typically based on batch-type culture, which is laborious and expensive. Here, we propose a continuous harvest method for stem cells cultured on thermoresponsive nanobrush surfaces. In this method, stem cells are partially detached from the nanobrush surface by reducing the temperature of the culture medium below the critical solution temperature needed for thermoresponse. The detached stem cells are harvested by exchange into fresh culture medium. Following this, the remaining cells are continuously cultured by expansion in fresh culture medium at 37 °C. Thermoresponsive nanobrush surfaces were prepared by coating block copolymers containing polystyrene (for hydrophobic anchoring onto culture dishes) with three types of polymers: (a) polyacrylic acid with cell-binding oligopeptides, (b) thermoresponsive poly-N-isopropylacrylamide, and (c) hydrophilic poly(ethyleneglycol)methacrylate. The optimal coating durations and compositions for these copolymers to facilitate adequate attachment and detachment of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) and embryonic stem cells (hESCs) were determined. hADSCs and hESCs were continuously harvested for 5 and 3 cycles, respectively, via the partial detachment of cells from thermoresponsive nanobrush surfaces.
There are a number of drawbacks to incorporating large concentrations of barium sulfate (BaSO4) as the radiopacifier in PMMA-based bone cements for percutaneous vertebroplasty. These include adverse effects on injectability, viscosity profile, setting time, mechanical properties of the cement and bone resorption. We have synthesized a novel cement that is designed to address some of these drawbacks. Its powder includes PMMA microspheres in which gold particles are embedded and its monomer is the same as that used in commercial cements for vertebroplasty. In comparison to one such commercial cement brand, VertaPlex™, the new cement has longer doughing time, longer injection time, higher compressive strength, higher compressive modulus, and is superior in terms of cytotoxicity. For augmentation of fractured fresh-frozen cadaveric vertebral bodies (T6-L5) using simulated vertebroplasty, results for compressive strength and compressive stiffness of the construct and the percentage of the volume of the vertebral body filled by the cement were comparable for the two cements although the radiopacity of the new cement was significantly lower than that for VertaPlex™. The present results indicate that the new cement warrants further study.
In this paper, we present a general, fibril-based structural constitutive theory which accounts for three material aspects of crosslinked filamentous materials: the single fibrillar force response, the fibrillar network model, and the effects of alterations to the fibrillar network. In the case of the single fibrillar response, we develop a formula that covers the entropic and enthalpic deformation regions, and introduce the relaxation phase to explain the observed force decay after crosslink breakage. For the filamentous network model, we characterize the constituent element of the fibrillar network in terms its end-to-end distance vector and its contour length, then decompose the vector orientation into an isotropic random term and a specific alignment, paving the way for an expanded formalism from principal deformation to general 3D deformation; and, more important, we define a critical core quantity over which macroscale mechanical characteristics can be integrated: the ratio of the initial end-to-end distance to the contour length (and its probability function). For network alterations, we quantitatively treat changes in constituent elements and relate these changes to the alteration of network characteristics. Singular in its physical rigor and clarity, this constitutive theory can reproduce and predict a wide range of nonlinear mechanical behavior in materials composed of a crosslinked filamentous network, including: stress relaxation (with dual relaxation coefficients as typically observed in soft tissues); hysteresis with decreasing maximum stress under serial cyclic loading; strain-stiffening under uniaxial tension; the rupture point of the structure as a whole; various effects of biaxial tensile loading; strain-stiffening under simple shearing; the so-called "negative normal stress" phenomenon; and enthalpic elastic behaviors of the constituent element. Applied to compacted collagen gels, the theory demonstrates that collagen fibrils behave as enthalpic elasticas with linear elasticity within the gels, and that the macroscale nonlinearity of the gels originates from the curved fibrillar network. Meanwhile, the underlying factors that determine the mechanical properties of the gels are clarified. Finally, the implications of this study on the enhancement of the mechanical properties of compacted collagen gels and on the cellular mechanics with this model tissue are discussed.
Biocompatibility of two variants of accelerated Portland cement (APC) were investigated in vitro by observing the cytomorphology of SaOS-2 osteosarcoma cells in the presence of test materials and the effect of these materials on the expression of markers of bone remodelling. Glass ionomer cement (GIC), mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) and unmodified Portland cement (RC) were used for comparison. A direct contact assay was undertaken in four samples of each test material, collected at 12, 24, 48 and 72 h. Cell morphology was observed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and scored. Culture media were collected for cytokine quantification using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). On SEM evaluation, healthy SaOS-2 cells were found adhering onto the surfaces of APC variant, RC and MTA. In contrast, rounded and dying cells were observed on GIC. Using ELISA, levels of interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, IL-18 and OC were significantly higher in APC variants compared with controls and GIC (p<0.01), but these levels of cytokines were not statistically significant compared with MTA. The results of this study provide evidence that both APC variants are non-toxic and may have potential to promote bone healing. Further development of APC is indicated to produce a viable dental restorative material and possibly a material for orthopaedic
Oral lichen planus (OLP) and recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) are chronic inflammatory conditions often characterised by erosive and/or painful oral lesions that have a considerable impact on quality of life. Current treatment often necessitates the use of steroids in the form of mouthwashes, creams or ointments, but these are often ineffective due to inadequate drug contact times with the lesion. Here we evaluate the performance of novel mucoadhesive patches for targeted drug delivery. Electrospun polymeric mucoadhesive patches were produced and characterised for their physical properties and cytotoxicity before evaluation of residence time and acceptability in a human feasibility study. Clobetasol-17-propionate incorporated into the patches was released in a sustained manner in both tissue-engineered oral mucosa and ex vivo porcine mucosa. Clobetasol-17 propionate-loaded patches were further evaluated for residence time and drug release in an in vivo animal model and demonstrated prolonged adhesion and drug release at therapeutic-relevant doses and time points. These data show that electrospun patches are adherent to mucosal tissue without causing tissue damage, and can be successfully loaded with and release clinically active drugs. These patches hold great promise for the treatment of oral conditions such as OLP and RAS, and potentially many other oral lesions.
Decellularized native extracellular matrix (ECM) biomaterials are widely used in tissue engineering and have reached clinical application as biomesh implants. To enhance their regenerative properties and postimplantation performance, ECM biomaterials could be functionalized via immobilization of bioactive molecules. To facilitate ECM functionalization, we developed a metabolic glycan labeling approach using physiologic pathways to covalently incorporate click-reactive azide ligands into the native ECM of a wide variety of rodent tissues and organs in vivo, and into the ECM of isolated rodent and porcine lungs cultured ex vivo. The incorporated azides within the ECM were preserved after decellularization and served as chemoselective ligands for subsequent bioconjugation via click chemistry. As proof of principle, we generated alkyne-modified heparin, immobilized it onto azide-incorporated acellular lungs, and demonstrated its bioactivity by Antithrombin III immobilization and Factor Xa inhibition. The herein reported metabolic glycan labeling approach represents a novel platform technology for manufacturing click-reactive native ECM biomaterials, thereby enabling efficient and chemoselective functionalization of these materials to facilitate tissue regeneration and repair.
Commonly, stem cell culture is based on batch-type culture, which is laborious and expensive. We continuously cultured human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) on thermoresponsive dish surfaces, where hPSCs were partially detached on the same thermoresponsive dish by decreasing the temperature of the thermoresponsive dish to be below the lower critical solution temperature for only 30 min. Then, the remaining cells were continuously cultured in fresh culture medium, and the detached stem cells were harvested in the exchanged culture medium. hPSCs were continuously cultured for ten cycles on the thermoresponsive dish surface, which was prepared by coating the surface with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-styrene) and oligovitronectin-grafted poly(acrylic acid-co-styrene) or recombinant vitronectin for hPSC binding sites to maintain hPSC pluripotency. After ten cycles of continuous culture on the thermoresponsive dish surface, the detached cells expressed pluripotency proteins and had the ability to differentiate into cells derived from the three germ layers in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the detached cells differentiated into specific cell lineages, such as cardiomyocytes, with high efficiency.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is a life changing condition, affecting 20 million women worldwide. In this study, we developed a bioactive, injectable bulking agent that consists of Permacol™ (Medtronic, Switzerland) and recombinant insulin like growth factor-1 conjugated fibrin micro-beads (fib_rIGF-1) for its bulk stability and capacity to induce muscle regeneration. Therefore, Permacol™ formulations were injected in the submucosal space of rabbit bladders. The ability of a bulking material to form a stable and muscle-inducing bulk represents for us a promising therapeutic approach to achieve a long-lasting treatment for SUI. The fib_rIGF-1 showed no adverse effect on human smooth muscle cell metabolic activity and viability in vitro based on AlamarBlue assays and Live/Dead staining. Three months after injection of fib_rIGF-1 together with Permacol™ into the rabbit bladder wall, we observed a smooth muscle tissue like formation within the injected materials. Positive staining for alpha smooth muscle actin, calponin, and caldesmon demonstrated a contractile phenotype of the newly formed smooth muscle tissue. Moreover, the fib_rIGF-1 treated group also improved the neovascularization at the injection site, confirmed by CD31 positive staining compared to bulks made of PermacolTM only. The results of this study encourage us to further develop this injectable, bioactive bulking material towards a future therapeutic approach for a minimal invasive and long-lasting treatment of SUI.
Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) were generated on several biomaterials from human amniotic fluid in completely xeno-free and feeder-free conditions via the transfection of pluripotent genes using a nonintegrating RNA Sendai virus vector. The effect of xeno-free culture medium on the efficiency of the establishment of human amniotic fluid stem cells from amniotic fluid was evaluated. Subsequently, the effect of cell culture biomaterials on the reprogramming efficiency was investigated during the reprogramming of human amniotic fluid stem cells into hiPSCs. Cells cultured in laminin-511, laminin-521, and Synthemax II-coated dishes and hydrogels having optimal elasticity that were engrafted with specific oligopeptides derived from vitronectin could be reprogrammed into hiPSCs with high efficiency. The reprogrammed cells expressed pluripotency proteins and had the capability to differentiate into cells derived from all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo. Human iPSCs could be generated successfully and at high efficiency (0.15-0.25%) in completely xeno-free conditions from the selection of optimal cell culture biomaterials.
The current differentiation process of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into cardiomyocytes to enhance the purity of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes requires some purification processes, which are laborious processes. We developed cell sorting plates, which are prepared from coating thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and extracellular matrix proteins. After hPSCs were induced into cardiomyocytes on the thermoresponsive surface coated with laminin-521 for 15 days, the temperature of the cell culture plates was decreased to 8-9 °C to detach the cells partially from the thermoresponsive surface. The detached cells exhibited a higher cardiomyocyte marker of cTnT than the remaining cells on the thermoresponsive surface as well as the cardiomyocytes after purification using conventional cell selection. The detached cells expressed several cardiomyocyte markers, such as α-actinin, MLC2a and NKX2.5. This study suggested that the purification of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes using cell sorting plates with the thermoresponsive surface is a promising method for the purification of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes without conventional laborious processes.