Improved fibronectin-immobilized fibrinogen microthreads for the attachment and proliferation of fibroblasts
Thanavel Rajangam, Seong Soo A An
Department of Bionanotechnology, Gachon University, Seongnam, South Korea
Abstract: The aim of this study was to fabricate fibrinogen (Fbg) microfibers with different structural characteristics for the development of 3-D tissue-engineering scaffolds. Fabricated Fbg microfibers were investigated for their biomolecule encapsulation, cell adhesion, and proliferations. Microfibers with three different concentrations of Fbg (5, 10, and 15 wt%) were prepared by a gel solvent-extraction method using a silicone rubber tube. Fbg microfibers were covalently modified with fibronectin (FN) by using water-soluble 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide as the cross-linking agent. Fbg microfibers were characterized by their FN cross-linking properties, structural morphology, and in vitro degradation. Furthermore, FN/Fbg microfibers were evaluated for cell attachment and proliferation. The biocompatibility and cell proliferation of the microfibers were assessed by measuring adenosine triphosphate activity in C2C12 fibroblast cells. Cell attachment and proliferation on microfibers were further examined using fluorescence and scanning electron microscopic images. FN loading on the microfibers was confirmed by fluorescence and infrared spectroscopy. Surface morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscopy, and showed highly aligned nanostructures for fibers made with 15 wt% Fbg, a more porous structure for fibers made with 10 wt% Fbg, and a less porous structure for those made with 5 wt% Fbg. Controlled biodegradation of the fiber was observed for 8 weeks by using an in vitro proteolytic degradation assay. Fbg microfibers with highly aligned nanostructures (15 wt%) showed enhanced biomolecule encapsulation, as well as higher cell adhesion and proliferation than another two types of FN/Fbg fibers (5 and 10 wt%) and unmodified Fbg fibers. The promising results obtained from the present study reveal that optimal structure of Fbg microfibers could be used as a potential substratum for growth factors or drug release, especially in wound healing and vascular tissue engineering, in which fibers could be applied to promote and orient cell adhesion and proliferation.
Keywords: fibrinogen, microfibers, nanofibers, cross-linking, fibronectin, tissue engineering
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