Modulation of marrow stromal osteoblast adhesion on biomimetic oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] hydrogels modified with Arg-Gly-Asp peptides and a poly(ethylene glycol) spacer



Novel oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogels functionalized with cell adhesion peptides were prepared, and the effects of incorporated peptide density and macromolecular structure of hydrogels on attachment and morphology of marrow stromal cells (MSCs) were evaluated. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG; number average molecular weight of 930, 2860, and 6090) was used to synthesize OPF. A model peptide, Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp (GRGD), was incorporated into OPF hydrogels after being coupled to acrylated PEG of molecular weight 3400. The increase of incorporated peptide concentration enhanced MSC attachment to OPF hydrogels of PEG of molecular weight of 930 and 2860. However, the number of attached MSCs to OPF hydrogels of PEG (molecular weight 6090) remained constant regardless of the peptide density. The length of PEG in OPF also influenced cell attachment. When 1 μmole peptide/g hydrogel was incorporated into the OPF hydrogels, the degree of cell attachment at 12 h relative to the initial seeding density was 93.9 ± 5.9%, 64.7 ± 8.2%, and 9.3 ± 6.6% for OPF hydrogels prepared with PEG of molecular weights of 930, 2860, and 6090, respectively. However, the crosslinking density of hydrogels did not significantly affect cell attachment. The interaction was sequence specific, in that MSC attachment to GRGD-modified hydrogels was competitively inhibited when cells were incubated in the presence of 0.5 mM soluble GRGD before cell seeding. These results suggest that we can modulate MSC attachment to OPF hydrogels by altering the peptide density and the molecular structure of OPF hydrogels. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res 61: 169–179, 2002