Tropoelastin coated tendon biomimetic scaffolds promote stem cell tenogenic commitment and deposition of elastin-rich matrix

last updated: 2019-05-20
ProjectNORTE45_3Bs - RL1 :: publications list
TitleTropoelastin coated tendon biomimetic scaffolds promote stem cell tenogenic commitment and deposition of elastin-rich matrix
Publication TypePapers in Scientific Journals
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAlmeida H., Domingues R. M. A., Mithieux S. M., Pires R. A., Gonçalves A. I., Gómez-Florit M., Reis R. L., Weiss A. S., and Gomes M. E.

Tendon tissue engineering strategies that recreate the biophysical and biochemical native microenvironment have a greater potential to achieve regeneration. Here, we developed tendon biomimetic scaffolds using mechanically competent yarns of poly-ε-caprolactone, chitosan and cellulose nanocrystals to recreate the inherent tendon hierarchy from the nano to macro scale. These were then coated with tropoelastin (TROPO) through polydopamine linking (PDA), to mimic the native extracellular matrix (ECM) composition and elasticity. Both PDA and TROPO coatings decreased surface stiffness without masking the underlying substrate. We found that human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) seeded onto these TROPO biomimetic scaffolds more rapidly acquired their spindle-shape morphology and high aspect ratio characteristic of tenocytes. Immunocytochemistry shows that the PDA and TROPO-coated surfaces boosted differentiation of hASCs towards the tenogenic lineage, with sustained expression of the tendon-related markers scleraxis and tenomodulin up to 21 days of culture. Furthermore, these surfaces enabled the deposition of a tendon-like ECM, supported by the expression of collagens type I and III, tenascin and decorin. Gene expression analysis revealed a downregulation of osteogenic and fibrosis markers in the presence of TROPO when compared with the control groups, suggesting proper ECM deposition. Remarkably, differentiated cells exposed to TROPO acquired an elastogenic profile due to the evident elastin synthesis and deposition, contributing to the formation of a more mimetic matrix in comparison with the PDA-coated and uncoated conditions. In summary, our biomimetic substrates combining biophysical and biological cues modulate stem cell behavior potentiating their long-term tenogenic commitment and the production of an elastin-rich ECM.

JournalAcs Applied Materials & Interfaces
Date Published2019-05-15
KeywordsBiomimetic, elastin de novo synthesis, hierarchical scaffolds, human-adipose derived stem cells, Polydopamine, Tenogenic differentiation, Tropoelastin
Peer reviewedyes

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