Bacterial cellulose modified using recombinant proteins to improve neuronal and mesenchymal cell adhesion



A wide variety of biomaterials and bioactive molecules have been applied as scaffolds in neuronal tissue engineering. However, creating devices that enhance the regeneration of nervous system injuries is still a challenge, due the difficulty in providing an appropriate environment for cell growth and differentiation and active stimulation of nerve regeneration. In recent years, bacterial cellulose (BC) has emerged as a promising biomaterial for biomedical applications because of its properties such as high crystallinity, an ultrafine fiber network, high tensile strength, and biocompatibility. The small signaling peptides found in the proteins of extracellular matrix are described in the literature as promoters of adhesion and proliferation for several cell lineages on different surfaces. In this work, the peptide IKVAV was fused to a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM3) and used to modify BC surfaces, with the goal of promoting neuronal and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) adhesion. The recombinant proteins IKVAV-CBM3 and (19)IKVAV-CBM3 were successfully expressed in E. coli, purified through affinity chromatography, and stably adsorbed to the BC membranes. The effect of these recombinant proteins, as well as RGD-CBM3, on cell adhesion was evaluated by MTS colorimetric assay. The results showed that the (19)IKVAV-CBM3 was able to significantly improve the adhesion of both neuronal and mesenchymal cells and had no effect on the other cell lineages tested. The MSC neurotrophin expression in cells grown on BC membranes modified with the recombinant proteins was also analyzed. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012