Capillary Network-Like Organization of Endothelial Cells in PEGDA Scaffolds Encoded with Angiogenic Signals via Triple Helical Hybridization

Authors

  • Patrick J. Stahl,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Tania R. Chan,

    1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Yu-I Shen,

    1. Department of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Guoming Sun,

    1. Department of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • Sharon Gerecht,

    1. Department of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
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  • S. M. Yu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering, Institute for NanoBioTechnology, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
    2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
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Abstract

Survival of tissue engineered constructs after implantation depends on proper vascularization. The differentiation of endothelial cells into mature microvasculature requires dynamic interactions between cells, scaffold, and growth factors, which are difficult to recapitulate in artificial systems. Previously, photocrosslinked poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogels displaying collagen mimetic peptides (CMPs), dubbed PEGDA-CMP, that can be further conjugated with bioactive molecules via CMP-CMP triple helix hybridization were reported. Here, it is shown that a bifunctional peptide featuring pro-angiogenic domain mimicking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and a collagen mimetic domain that can fold into a triple helix conformation can hybridize with CMP side chains of the PEGDA-CMP hydrogel, which results in presentation of insoluble VEGF-like signals to endothelial cells. Presentation of VEGF-like signals on the surface of micropatterned scaffolds in this way transforms cells from a quiescent state to elongated and aligned phenotype suggesting that this system could be used to engineer organized microvasculature. It is also shown that the pro-angiogenic peptide, when applied topically in combination with modified dextran/PEGDA hydrogels, can enhance neovascularization of burn wounds in mice demonstrating the potential clinical use of CMP-mediated matrix-bound bioactive molecules for dermal injuries.

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