Integrin-specific hydrogels for growth factor-free vasculogenesis

last updated: 2023-01-03
ProjectECM_INK :: publications list
TitleIntegrin-specific hydrogels for growth factor-free vasculogenesis
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMoreira H. R., Rodrigues D. B., Freitas-Ribeiro S., da Silva L. P., Morais A., Jalano M., Horta R., Reis R. L., Pirraco R. P., and Marques A. P.

Integrin-binding biomaterials have been extensively evaluated for their capacity to enable de novo formation of capillary-like structures/vessels, ultimately supporting neovascularization in vivo. Yet, the role of integrins as vascular initiators in engineered materials is still not well understood. Here, we show that αvβ3 integrin-specific 3D matrices were able to retain PECAM1+ cells from the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) of adipose tissue, triggering vasculogenesis in vitro in the absence of extrinsic growth factors. Our results suggest that αvβ3-RGD-driven signaling in the formation of capillary-like structures prevents the activation of the caspase 8 pathway and activates the FAK/paxillin pathway, both responsible for endothelial cells (ECs) survival and migration. We also show that prevascularized αvβ3 integrin-specific constructs inosculate with the host vascular system fostering in vivo neovascularization. Overall, this work demonstrates the ability of the biomaterial to trigger vasculogenesis in an integrin-specific manner, by activating essential pathways for EC survival and migration within a self-regulatory growth factor microenvironment. This strategy represents an improvement to current vascularization routes for Tissue Engineering constructs, potentially enhancing their clinical applicability.

Journalnpj Regenerative Medicine
Date Published2022-09-07
PublisherSpringer Nature
KeywordsBiomaterials, stromal vascular fraction, vascularization, vasculogenesis
Peer reviewedyes

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