Authors Binner, M. ; Bray, L. ; Friedrichs, J. ; Tsurkan, M. ; Werner, C.
Title Cell-instructive starPEG-heparin-collagen composite matrices
Date 15.04.2017
Number 53166
Abstract Polymer hydrogels can be readily modulated with regard to their physical properties and functionalized to recapitulate molecular cues of the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, they remain structurally different from the hierarchical supramolecular assemblies of natural ECM. Accordingly, we herein report a set of hydrogel composite materials made from starPEG-peptide conjugates, maleimide-functionalized heparin and collagen type I that combine semisynthetic and ECM-derived components. Collagen fibrillogenesis was controlled by temperature and collagen concentration to form collagen microstructures which were then homogeneously distributed within the 3D composite matrix during hydrogel formation. The collagen-laden hydrogel materials showed a heterogeneous local variation of the stiffness and adhesion ligand density. Composite gels functionalized with growth factors and cell adhesive peptides (RGDSP) supported the growth of embedded human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and induced the alignment of embedded bone marrow–derived human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to the collagen microstructures in vitro. The introduced composite hydrogel material is concluded to faithfully mimic cell-instructive features of the ECM.
Publisher Acta Biomaterialia
Citation Acta Biomaterialia 53 (2017) 70-80

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