Monitoring fibrous scaffold guidance of three-dimensional collagen organisation using minimally-invasive second harmonic generation.
ABSTRACT: The biological and mechanical function of connective tissues is largely determined by controlled cellular alignment and therefore it seems appropriate that tissue-engineered constructs should be architecturally similar to the in vivo tissue targeted for repair or replacement. Collagen organisation dictates the tensile properties of most tissues and so monitoring the deposition of cell-secreted collagen as the construct develops is essential for understanding tissue formation. In this study, electrospun fibres with a random or high degree of orientation, mimicking two types of tissue architecture found in the body, were used to culture human fibroblasts for controlling cell alignment. The minimally-invasive technique of second harmonic generation was used with the aim of monitoring and profiling the deposition and organisation of collagen at different construct depths over time while construct mechanical properties were also determined over the culture period. It was seen that scaffold fibre organisation affected cell migration and orientation up to 21 days which in turn had an effect on collagen organisation. Collagen in random fibrous constructs was deposited in alternating configurations at different depths however a high degree of organisation was observed throughout aligned fibrous constructs orientated in the scaffold fibre direction. Three-dimensional second harmonic generation images showed that deposited collagen was more uniformly distributed in random constructs but aligned constructs were more organised and had higher intensities. The tensile properties of all constructs increased with increasing collagen deposition and were ultimately dictated by collagen organisation. This study highlights the importance of scaffold architecture for controlling the development of well-organised tissue engineered constructs and the usefulness of second harmonic generation imaging for monitoring collagen maturation in a minimally invasive manner.
Project description:Biomimetic replication of the structural anisotropy of musculoskeletal tissues is important to restore proper tissue mechanics and function. Physical cues from the local micro-environment, such as matrix fiber orientation, may influence the differentiation and extracellular matrix (ECM) organization of osteogenic progenitor cells. This study investigates how scaffold fiber orientation affects the behavior of mature and progenitor osteogenic cells, the influence on secreted mineralized-collagenous matrix organization, and the resulting construct mechanical properties. Gelatin-coated electrospun poly(caprolactone) fibrous scaffolds were fabricated with either a low or a high degree of anisotropy and cultured with mature osteoblasts (MLO-A5s) or osteogenic mesenchymal progenitor cells (hES-MPs). For MLO-A5 cells, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was highest, and more calcium-containing matrix was deposited onto aligned scaffolds. In contrast, hES-MPs, osteogenic mesenchymal progenitor cells, exhibited higher ALP activity, collagen, and calcium deposition on randomly orientated fibers compared with aligned counterparts. Deposited matrix was isotropic on random fibrous scaffolds, whereas a greater degree of anisotropy was observed in aligned fibrous constructs, as confirmed by second harmonic generation (SHG) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) imaging. This resulted in anisotropic mechanical properties on aligned constructs. This study indicates that mineralized-matrix deposition by osteoblasts can be controlled by scaffold alignment but that the early stages of osteogenesis may not benefit from culture on orientated scaffolds.
Project description:Myocardial infarction (MI) causes significant cell loss and damage to myocardium. Cell-based therapies for treatment of MI aim to remuscularize the resultant scar tissue, but the majority of transplanted cells do not survive or integrate with the host tissue. Scaffolds can improve cell retention following construct implantation, but often do little to enhance host-graft integration and/or show limited biodegradation. Fibrin is an ideal biomaterial for cardiac tissue engineering as it is a natural, biodegradable polymer that can induce neovascularization, promote cell attachment, and has tunable mechanical properties. Here we describe a novel, high-density microtemplated fibrin scaffold seeded with a tri-cell mixture of cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells (ECs), and fibroblasts to mimic native cardiac tissue in structure and cellular composition to improve cell retention and promote integration with the host tissue. Scaffolds were designed with uniform architecture of parallel 60 ?m microchannels surrounded by an interconnected microporous network of 27-?m-diameter pores and mechanical stiffness comparable to native cardiac tissues (70-90kPa). Scaffold degradation was controlled with the addition of Factor XIII (FXIII) and/or protease inhibitor (aprotinin). Unmodified scaffolds had a fast degradation profile both in vitro (19.9%±3.9% stiffness retention after 10 days) and in vivo. Scaffolds treated with FXIII showed an intermediate degradation profile in vitro (45.8%±5.9%), while scaffolds treated with aprotinin or both FXIII and aprotinin showed significantly slowed degradation in vitro (60.9%±5.2% and 76.4%±7.6%, respectively, p<0.05). Acellular aprotinin scaffold myocardial implants showed decreased collagen deposition after 7 days. Unmodified and aprotinin implants could not be located by 14 days, while 2 of 8 FXIII implants were found, but were significantly degraded. Constructs supported seeded cell survival and organization in vitro, promoting EC-lined lumen structure formation in construct channels and colocalization of viable ECs and cardiomyocytes. In addition, constructs promoted extracellular matrix deposition by seeded cells, as shown by collagen staining within construct channels and by significant increases in construct stiffness over 10 days in vitro (209%±32%, p<0.05). The data suggest our fibrin scaffolds are ideally designed to promote graft cell survival and organization, thus improving chances of promoting construct integration with the host tissue upon implantation.
Project description:Tissue-engineering therapies have shown early success in the clinic, however, the cell-biomaterial interactions that result in successful outcomes are not yet well understood and are difficult to observe. Here we describe a method for visualizing bone formation within a tissue-engineered construct in vivo, at a single-cell resolution, and in situ in three dimensions using two-photon microscopy. First, two-photon microscopy and histological perspectives were spatially linked using fluorescent reporters for cells in the skeletal lineage. In the process, the tissue microenvironment that precedes a repair-focused study was described. The distribution and organization of type I collagen in the calvarial microenvironment was also described using its second harmonic signal. Second, this platform was used to observe in vivo, for the first time, host cells, donor cells, scaffold, and new bone formation within cell-seeded constructs in a bone defect. We examined constructs during bone repair 4 and 6 weeks after implantation. New bone formed on scaffolds, primarily by donor cells. Host cells formed a new periosteal layer that covered the implant. Scaffold resorption appeared to be site specific, where areas near the top were removed and deeper areas were completely embedded in new mineral. Visualizing the in vivo progression of the cell and scaffold microenvironment will contribute to our understanding of tissue-engineered regeneration and should lead to the development of more streamlined and therapeutically powerful approaches.
Project description:The quality of cartilaginous tissue derived from bone marrow mesenchymal stromal stem cell (BMSC) transplantation has been correlated with clinical outcome. Therefore, culture conditions capable of modulating tissue phenotype, such as oxygen tension and scaffold composition, are under investigation. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of hypoxia on in vitro BMSC chondrogenesis within clinically approved porous scaffolds composed of collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA). It was hypothesized that hypoxic isolation/expansion and differentiation would improve BMSC chondrogenesis in each construct.Ovine BMSCs were isolated and expanded to passage 2 under hypoxia (3% oxygen) or normoxia (21% oxygen). Cell proliferation and colony-forming characteristics were assessed. BMSCs were seeded at 10 million cells per cubic centimeter on cylindrical scaffolds composed of either collagen I sponge or esterified HA non-woven mesh. Chondrogenic differentiation was performed in a defined medium under hypoxia or normoxia for 14 days. Cultured constructs were assessed for gene expression, proteoglycan staining, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) quantity, and diameter change.Isolation/expansion under hypoxia resulted in faster BMSC population doublings per day (P <0.05), whereas cell and colony counts were not significantly different (P?=?0.60 and 0.30, respectively). Collagen and HA scaffolds seeded with BMSCs that were isolated, expanded, and differentiated under hypoxia exhibited superior aggrecan and collagen II mRNA expressions (P <0.05), GAG quantity (P <0.05), and proteoglycan staining in comparison with normoxia. GAG/DNA was augmented with hypoxic isolation/expansion in all constructs (P <0.01). Comparison by scaffold composition indicated increased mRNA expressions of hyaline cartilage-associated collagen II, aggrecan, and SOX9 in collagen scaffolds, although expression of collagen X, which is related to hypertrophic cartilage, was also elevated (P <0.05). Proteoglycan deposition was not significantly improved in collagen scaffolds unless culture involved normoxic isolation/expansion followed by hypoxic differentiation. During chondrogenesis, collagen-based constructs progressively contracted to 60.1%?±?8.9% of the initial diameter after 14 days, whereas HA-based construct size was maintained (109.7%?±?4.2%).Hypoxic isolation/expansion and differentiation enhance in vitro BMSC chondrogenesis within porous scaffolds. Although both collagen I and HA scaffolds support the creation of hyaline-like cartilaginous tissue, variations in gene expression, extracellular matrix formation, and construct size occur during chondrogenesis.
Project description:An acellular dermal matrix will typically incorporate, in time, with the overlying mastectomy skin flap. This remodeling process may be adversely impacted in patients who require chemotherapy and radiation, which influence neovascularization and cellular proliferation.Multiple biopsy specimens were procured from 86 women (n = 94 breasts) undergoing exchange of a tissue expander for a breast implant. These were divided by biopsy location: submuscular capsule (control) as well as superiorly, centrally, and inferiorly along the paramedian acellular dermis. Specimens were assessed for cellular infiltration, cell type, fibrous encapsulation, scaffold degradation, extracellular matrix deposition, neovascularization, mean composite remodeling score, and type I and III collagen. Patients were compared based on five oncologic treatment groups: no adjuvant therapy (untreated), neoadjuvant chemotherapy with or without radiation, and chemotherapy with or without radiation.Biopsy specimens were procured 45 to 1805 days after implantation and demonstrated a significant reduction in type I collagen over time. Chemotherapy adversely impacted fibrous encapsulation (p = 0.03). Chemotherapy with or without radiation adversely impacted type I collagen (p = 0.02), cellular infiltration (p < 0.01), extracellular matrix deposition (p < 0.04), and neovascularization (p < 0.01). Radiation exacerbated the adverse impact of chemotherapy for several remodeling parameters. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy also caused a reduction in type I (p = 0.01) and III collagen (p = 0.05), extracellular matrix deposition (p = 0.03), and scaffold degradation (p = 0.02).Chemotherapy and radiation therapy limit acellular dermal matrix remodeling.Therapeutic, III.
Project description:Engineering organs and tissues with the spatial composition and organisation of their native equivalents remains a major challenge. One approach to engineer such spatial complexity is to recapitulate the gradients in regulatory signals that during development and maturation are believed to drive spatial changes in stem cell differentiation. Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation is known to be influenced by both soluble factors and mechanical cues present in the local microenvironment. The objective of this study was to engineer a cartilaginous tissue with a native zonal composition by modulating both the oxygen tension and mechanical environment thorough the depth of MSC seeded hydrogels. To this end, constructs were radially confined to half their thickness and subjected to dynamic compression (DC). Confinement reduced oxygen levels in the bottom of the construct and with the application of DC, increased strains across the top of the construct. These spatial changes correlated with increased glycosaminoglycan accumulation in the bottom of constructs, increased collagen accumulation in the top of constructs, and a suppression of hypertrophy and calcification throughout the construct. Matrix accumulation increased for higher hydrogel cell seeding densities; with DC further enhancing both glycosaminoglycan accumulation and construct stiffness. The combination of spatial confinement and DC was also found to increase proteoglycan-4 (lubricin) deposition toward the top surface of these tissues. In conclusion, by modulating the environment through the depth of developing constructs, it is possible to suppress MSC endochondral progression and to engineer tissues with zonal gradients mimicking certain aspects of articular cartilage.
Project description:Annulus fibrosus (AF) tissue engineering has recently received increasing attention as a treatment for intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration; however, such engineering remains challenging because of the remarkable complexity of AF tissue. In order to engineer a functional AF replacement, the fabrication of cell-scaffold constructs that mimic the cellular, biochemical and structural features of native AF tissue is critical. In this study, we fabricated aligned fibrous polyurethane scaffolds using an electrospinning technique and used them for culturing AF-derived stem/progenitor cells (AFSCs). Random fibrous scaffolds, also prepared via electrospinning, were used as a control. We compared the morphology, proliferation, gene expression and matrix production of AFSCs on aligned scaffolds and random scaffolds. There was no apparent difference in the attachment or proliferation of cells cultured on aligned scaffolds and random scaffolds. However, compared to cells on random scaffolds, the AFSCs on aligned scaffolds were more elongated and better aligned, and they exhibited higher gene expression and matrix production of collagen-I and aggrecan. The gene expression and protein production of collagen-II did not appear to differ between the two groups. Together, these findings indicate that aligned fibrous scaffolds may provide a favourable microenvironment for the differentiation of AFSCs into cells similar to outer AF cells, which predominantly produce collagen-I matrix.
Project description:Completely biological tissue replacements can be fabricated by entrapping cells in a molded fibrin gel. Over time, the fibrin is degraded and replaced with cell-produced extracellular matrix. However, the relationship between fibrin degradation and matrix deposition has not been elucidated. We developed techniques to quantify fibrin degradation products (FDP) and examine plasmin activity in the conditioned medium from fibrin-based constructs. Fibrin-based tissue constructs fabricated with vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMC) were cultured for 5 weeks in the presence of varied concentrations of the fibrinolysis inhibitor -aminocaproic acid and cellularity, and deposited collagen and elastin were measured weekly. These data revealed that increasing concentrations of -aminocaproic acid led to delayed and diminished FDP production, lower vSMC proliferation, and decreased collagen and elastin deposition. FDP were shown to have a direct biological effect on vSMC cultures and vSMC within the fibrin-based constructs. Supplementing construct cultures with 250 or 500?g/mL FDP led to 30% higher collagen deposition than the untreated controls. FDP concentrations as high as 250?g/mL were estimated to exist within the constructs, indicating that FDP generation during remodeling of the fibrin-based constructs exerted direct biological activity. These results help explain many of the positive outcomes reported with fibrin-based tissue constructs in the literature, as well as demonstrate the importance of regulating plasmin activity during their fabrication.
Project description:Recapitulation of the form and function of complex tissue organization using appropriate biomaterials impacts success in tissue engineering endeavors. The annulus fibrosus (AF) represents a complex, multilamellar, hierarchical structure consisting of collagen, proteoglycans, and elastic fibers. To mimic the intricacy of AF anatomy, a silk protein-based multilayered, disc-like angle-ply construct was fabricated, consisting of concentric layers of lamellar sheets. Scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence image analysis revealed cross-aligned and lamellar characteristics of the construct, mimicking the native hierarchical architecture of the AF. Induction of secondary structure in the silk constructs was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The constructs showed a compressive modulus of 499.18 ± 86.45 kPa. Constructs seeded with porcine AF cells and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) showed ∼2.2-fold and ∼1.7-fold increases in proliferation on day 14, respectively, compared with initial seeding. Biochemical analysis, histology, and immunohistochemistry results showed the deposition of AF-specific extracellular matrix (sulfated glycosaminoglycan and collagen type I), indicating a favorable environment for both cell types, which was further validated by the expression of AF tissue-specific genes. The constructs seeded with porcine AF cells showed ∼11-, ∼5.1-, and ∼6.7-fold increases in col I<i>α 1</i>, sox 9, and aggrecan genes, respectively. The differentiation of hMSCs to AF-like tissue was evident from the enhanced expression of the AF-specific genes. Overall, the constructs supported cell proliferation, differentiation, and ECM deposition resulting in AF-like tissue features based on ECM deposition and morphology, indicating potential for future studies related to intervertebral disc replacement therapy.
Project description:Fibrous scaffolds fabricated via electrospinning are being explored to repair injuries within dense connective tissues. However, there is still much to be understood regarding the appropriate scaffold properties that best support tissue repair. In this study, the influence of the stiffness of electrospun fibers on cell invasion into fibrous scaffolds is investigated. Specifically, soft and stiff electrospun fibrous networks are fabricated from crosslinked methacrylated hyaluronic acid (MeHA), where the stiffness is altered via the extent of MeHA crosslinking. Meniscal fibrochondrocyte (MFC) adhesion and migration into fibrous networks are investigated, where the softer MeHA fibrous networks are easily deformed and densified through cellular tractions and the stiffer MeHA fibrous networks support ≈50% greater MFC invasion over weeks when placed adjacent to meniscal tissue. When the scaffolds are sandwiched between meniscal tissues and implanted subcutaneously, the stiffer MeHA fibrous networks again support enhanced cellular invasion and greater collagen deposition after 4 weeks when compared to the softer MeHA fibrous networks. These results indicate that the mechanics and deformability of fibrous networks likely alter cellular interactions and invasion, providing an important design parameter toward the engineering of scaffolds for tissue repair.