Quantifying Critical Early Cell-Scaffold Interaction on Electrospun Scaffolds

Education - Lecture/Discussion - WPI Only

Thursday, March 27, 2014
12:00 PM-12:50 PM

Kaven Hall

Sankha Bhowmick, Associate Professor, UMass Dartmouth. Prof. Bhowmick completed his Ph. D from University of Minnesota followed by a stint as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School/Mass General Hospital prior to joining the Mechanical Engineering department at UMass Dartmouth. His research interests span critical transport issues in tissue engineering and biopreservation. In addition, he has a keen interest in sustainability research.

Directed morphogenesis on engineered scaffolds require a fundamental quantitative understanding of early cell-scaffold interaction, a field relatively unexplored. The overall objective of this research is to gain a quantitative understanding of the early events of cell adhesion, specifically protein adsorption and integrin binding, and to apply this new information to tissue engineering fields with lingering questions, such as wound healing. This research extensively investigates the early events of cell adhesion to functionalized (though traditional processes like amination, hydrolysis and RGD peptide tagging) electrospun scaffolds in vitro. As a first step, protein adsorption to these scaffolds is evaluated along with how the different surface treatments can modulate this adsorption. These studies revealed a significant increase in protein adsorption on aminated scaffolds as compared to control and hydrolyzed scaffolds, due largely in part to an increase in electrostatic interaction. From here, cell attachment to these scaffolds was evaluated in both normal and simulated wound environments. These results indicate the greatest level of cell attachment to hydrolyzed and RGD coupled scaffolds, despite protein adsorption being greatest on aminated scaffolds. This would indicate that how proteins adsorb to a surface, not just the quantity adsorbed, plays a role in subsequent cell attachment.. Finally, it is important to evaluate the scaffolds in vivo to determine if the effects of functionalization extensively studied in vitro will be shared in a true native environment. Zebrafish have emerged as a viable model for examining immune response and are used to evaluate the functionalized electrospun scaffolds in this research. Our results show that electrospun scaffolds have a wound response similar to a cut, while 5 days out an enhanced IL-8 expression in functionalized scaffolds show the late reaction. The understanding of the cell-scaffold interaction obtained through this extensive in vitro research will aid in the selection of scaffold type to elicit a desired in vivo response, such as cell recruitment or the release of antioxidants or growths factors. This could have major implications in tissue engineering fields such as wound healing, where a very structured sequence of events (cell, protein, and growth factor recruitment) is needed for a successful outcome.

Suggested Audiences: College

E-mail: CEE@wpi.edu

Last Modified: March 20, 2014 at 3:10 PM

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