Hydrogel surfaces to promote attachment and spreading of endothelial progenitor cells

Authors

  • Gulden Camci-Unal,

    1. Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jason William Nichol,

    1. Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Hojae Bae,

    1. Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Halil Tekin,

    1. Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    3. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    4. David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Joyce Bischoff,

    1. Vascular Biology Program and Department of Surgery, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ali Khademhosseini

    Corresponding author
    1. Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA
    2. Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
    • Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence to: A. Khademhosseini, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. E-mail: alik@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Endothelialization of artificial vascular grafts is a challenging process in cardiovascular tissue engineering. Functionalized biomaterials could be promising candidates to promote endothelialization in repair of cardiovascular injuries. The purpose of this study was to synthesize hyaluronic acid (HA) and heparin-based hydrogels that could promote adhesion and spreading of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). We report that the addition of heparin into HA-based hydrogels provides an attractive surface for EPCs promoting spreading and the formation of an endothelial monolayer on the hydrogel surface. To increase EPC adhesion and spreading, we covalently immobilized CD34 antibody (Ab) on HA–heparin hydrogels, using standard EDC/NHS amine-coupling strategies. We found that EPC adhesion and spreading on CD34 Ab-immobilized HA–heparin hydrogels was significantly higher than their non-modified analogues. Once adhered, EPCs spread and formed an endothelial layer on both non-modified and CD34 Ab-modified HA–heparin hydrogels after 3 days of culture. We did not observe significant adhesion and spreading when heparin was not included in the control hydrogels. In addition to EPCs, we also used human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), which adhered and spread on HA–heparin hydrogels. Macrophages exhibited significantly less adhesion compared to EPCs on the same hydrogels. This composite material could possibly be used to develop surface coatings for artificial cardiovascular implants, due to its specificity for EPC and endothelial cells on an otherwise non-thrombogenic surface. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary