A facile strategy for tuning the density of surface-grafted biomolecules formelt extrusion-based additive manufacturing applications

last updated: 2024-05-31
ProjectUIDP/50026/2020 :: publications list
TitleA facile strategy for tuning the density of surface-grafted biomolecules formelt extrusion-based additive manufacturing applications
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsBeeren I. A. O., dos Santos G., Dijkstra P. J., Mota C., Bauer J., Ferreira H., Reis R. L., Neves N. M., Camarero-Espinosa S., Baker M. B., and Moroni L.

Melt extrusion-based additive manufacturing (ME-AM) is a promising technique to fabricate porous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications.However,most synthetic semicrystalline polymers do not possess the intrinsic biological activity required to control cell fate. Grafting of biomolecules on polymeric surfaces of AM scaffolds enhances the bioactivity of a construct; however, there are limited strategies available to control the surface density.Here, we report a strategy to tune the surface density of bioactive groups by blending a lowmolecular weight poly(ε-caprolactone)5k (PCL5k) containing orthogonally reactive azide groups with an unfunctionalized high molecular weight PCL75k at different ratios. Stable porous three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds were then fabricated using a high weight percentage (75wt.%) of the lowmolecular weight PCL5k.As a proof-of-concept test,we prepared films of three different mass ratios of lowand high molecular weight polymerswith a thermopress and reacted with an alkynated fluorescent model compound on the surface, yielding a density of 201–561 pmol/cm2. Subsequently, a bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2)-derived peptidewas grafted onto the films comprising different blend compositions, and the effect of peptide surface density on the osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs)was assessed. After two weeks of culturing in a basic medium, cells expressed higher levels of BMP receptor II (BMPRII) on films with the conjugated peptide. In addition, we found that alkaline phosphatase activity was only significantly enhanced on films containing the highest peptide density (i.e., 561 pmol/cm2), indicating the importance of the surface density. Taken together, these results emphasize that the density of surface peptides on cell differentiation must be considered at the cell-material interface. Moreover, we have presented a viable strategy for ME-AM community that desires to tune the bulk and surface functionality via blending of (modified) polymers. Furthermore, the use of alkyne–azide “click” chemistry enables spatial control over bioconjugation of many tissue-specific moieties, making this approach a versatile strategy for tissue engineering applications.

JournalBio-Design and Manufacturing
Date Published2024-05-20
Keywordsadditive manufacturing, Blending, Click chemistry, Human mesenchymal stromal cell (hMSC) differentiation, Surface density, surface functionalization
Peer reviewedyes

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