2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show - Nanotech 2007 - 10th Annual

Nanoscale-Engineered Dextran Hydrogels as Biomimetic Extracellular Matrices for Optimized Cell Adhesion and Differentiation

M.H. Lee, M.D. McConnell, D. Boettiger, R.J. Composto
University of Pennsylvania, US

tissue culture, extracellular matrix, tissue engineering, biomaterial, hydrogel, nanoparticle, dextran

The tissue culture platform is an essential part of the emerging field of cell-based therapies under development today. For instance, a critical part of stem cell therapy is the ability to maintain and multiply cell populations recovered from the patient in the undifferentiated state. It is becoming clear that the biochemical and physical properties of biomaqterials are important at both the micro and nano-scales which clearly highlights the necessity to be able to control these parameters at both size scales. We present a novel biomimetic platform composed of a biopolymer hydrogel (DexGel) and bio-functionalized silica nanoparticles (NP). The NPs enables the molecular-level control over such critical design parameters as ligand density and spatial distribution, independent of the macroscopic properties of the gel substrate. We demonstrate that the macroscopic compliance of DexGels can be easily modulated over the physiologically relevant range of 0.2 to 50 kPa and that we can also controllably attach ECM ligands, such as fibronectin and RGD peptides, to the silica-based NP material. Furthermore, we demonstrate the control over cell function afforded by the DexGel-NP system using both human fibroblastic (HT1080) and vascular (HASMC) cells with quantitative changes in cell adhesion, signaling and growth.

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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract


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