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Understanding greater cardiomyocyte functions on aligned compared to random carbon nanofibers in PLGA

Authors Asiri A, Marwani H, Khan SB, Webster T

Received 12 September 2014

Accepted for publication 1 December 2014

Published 17 December 2014 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 89—96


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Lei Yang

Abdullah M Asiri,1 Hadi M Marwani,1 Sher Bahadar Khan,1 Thomas J Webster1,2

1Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: Previous studies have demonstrated greater cardiomyocyte density on carbon nanofibers (CNFs) aligned (compared to randomly oriented) in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) composites. Although such studies demonstrated a closer mimicking of anisotropic electrical and mechanical properties for such aligned (compared to randomly oriented) CNFs in PLGA composites, the objective of the present in vitro study was to elucidate a deeper mechanistic understanding of how cardiomyocyte densities recognize such materials to respond more favorably. Results showed lower wettability (greater hydrophobicity) of CNFs embedded in PLGA compared to pure PLGA, thus providing evidence of selectively lower wettability in aligned CNF regions. Furthermore, the results correlated these changes in hydrophobicity with increased adsorption of fibronectin, laminin, and vitronectin (all proteins known to increase cardiomyocyte adhesion and functions) on CNFs in PLGA compared to pure PLGA, thus providing evidence of selective initial protein adsorption cues on such CNF regions to promote cardiomyocyte adhesion and growth. Lastly, results of the present in vitro study further confirmed increased cardiomyocyte functions by demonstrating greater expression of important cardiomyocyte biomarkers (such as Troponin-T, Connexin-43, and α-sarcomeric actin) when CNFs were aligned compared to randomly oriented in PLGA. In summary, this study provided evidence that cardiomyocyte functions are improved on CNFs aligned in PLGA compared to randomly oriented in PLGA since CNFs are more hydrophobic than PLGA and attract the adsorption of key proteins (fibronectin, laminin, and vironectin) that are known to promote cardiomyocyte adhesion and expression of important cardiomyocyte functions. Thus, future studies should use this knowledge to further design improved CNF:PLGA composites for numerous cardiovascular applications.

Keywords: cardiomyocytes, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), carbon nanofibers, aligned, nanotechnology, anisotropy, mechanism, vitronectin, fibronectin, laminin

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