• Open Access

Using Mean Field Theory to Guide Biofunctional Materials Design

Authors

  • Uwe Freudenberg,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Jens-Uwe Sommer,

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Zellescher Weg 17, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    • Jens-Uwe Sommer, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany

      Carsten Werner, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany.

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  • Kandice R. Levental,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Petra B. Welzel,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Andrea Zieris,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Karolina Chwalek,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Katja Schneider,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Silvana Prokoph,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Marina Prewitz,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
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  • Ron Dockhorn,

    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Institute for Theoretical Physics, Zellescher Weg 17, 01069 Dresden, Germany
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  • Carsten Werner

    Corresponding author
    1. Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany
    2. Technische Universität Dresden, Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Tatzberg 47 01307 Dresden, Germany
    • Jens-Uwe Sommer, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany

      Carsten Werner, Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF), Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials Dresden (MBC), Hohe Str. 6, 01069 Dresden, Germany.

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Abstract

Cell-instructive characteristics of extracellular matrices (ECM) resulting from a subtle balance of biomolecular and biophysical signals must be recapitulated in engineered biomaterials to facilitate regenerative therapies. However, no material explored so far allows the independent tuning of the involved molecular and physical cues due to the inherent correlation between biopolymer concentration and material properties. Addressing the resulting challenge, a rational design strategy for ECM-inspired biohybrid hydrogels based on multi-armed poly(ethylene glycol) and heparin, adapting a mean field approach to identify conditions at which the balance of elastic, electrostatic, and excluded volume forces results in constant heparin concentrations within swollen polymer networks with gradually varied physical properties is introduced. Applying heparin-based biofunctionalization schemes, multiple distinct combinations of matrix parameters could be identified to effectively stimulate the pro-angiogenic state of human endothelial cells and the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. The study demonstrates the power of joint theoretical and experimental efforts in creating bioactive materials with specifically and independently controllable characteristics.

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