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Modified collagen fleece, a scaffold for transplantation of human bladder smooth muscle cells
Danielsson, C., S. Ruault, et al. (2006), Biomaterials 27(7): 1054-60.
Abstract: Several congenital and acquired diseases of the human genito-urinary tract may need, due to lack or destruction of functional tissues, mechanically stable biomaterials as cell carriers for the engineering of these tissues. When using collagen scaffolds, both their capacity to induce tissue regeneration and their biocompatibility are advantageous characteristics to render them apt for tissue engineering. The attachment of extracellular matrix or serum proteins to their surfaces does further improve these characteristics, mimicking a close to natural cell environment. In this study, equine collagen scaffolds (TissueFleece((R))) were modified by coating fetal bovine serum proteins, before human bladder smooth muscle cells were seeded. Cell growth was evaluated by WST-1 proliferation assay and improved when using modified collagen scaffolds. However, cell penetration assessed by histology showed similar results on modified and native scaffolds. These cell-scaffold constructs were further implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous space of athymic mice. In vivo studies showed the presence of the fluorescent-labeled transplanted smooth muscle cells until day 3 and thereafter angiogenesis was induced and infiltration of mouse fibroblasts and polymorphonuclear cells were observed. The latter had completely disappeared after 3 weeks.

Modular acetabular augments: composite void fillers
Hanssen, A. D. and D. G. Lewallen (2005), Orthopedics 28(9): 971-2.

Modulation of angiogenic functions in human macrophages by biomaterials
Dagtekin, G., R. Schiffer, et al. (2003), Biomaterials 24(20): 3395-401.
Abstract: We examined the ability of polyvinylchloride (PVC), polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) and tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) to affect angiogenic functions in human monocyte-derived macrophages by measuring the mRNA expression of genes encoding angiogenic and anti-angiogenic molecules including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) and thrombospondin-1 (Tsp-1). The angiogenic activity of the corresponding macrophage conditioned media (CM) was measured by the proliferation of endothelial cells and the sprouting of new capillaries from fragments of human placental blood vessels. We determined that bFGF was not expressed in macrophages while VEGF and Tsp-1 mRNAs were expressed constitutively. Ang-1 was expressed in macrophages cultured up to 7 days on PTFE and TCPS independent of the culture stage. In contrast, macrophages cultured on PVC did not produce detectable amounts of Ang-1 mRNA after 7 days. CM from macrophages cultured either on PTFE or TCPS stimulated angiogenesis whereas CM from macrophages cultured on PVC inhibited it. The results demonstrate that polymers can cause differential expression of the angiogenic molecule Ang-1 in macrophages. They also induce different phenotypes of macrophages, which can either stimulate or inhibit angiogenesis suggesting a material-dependent influence on neovascularization.

Modulation of chondrocytic properties of fat-derived mesenchymal cells in co-cultures with nucleus pulposus
Li, X., J. P. Lee, et al. (2005), Connect Tissue Res 46(2): 75-82.
Abstract: Human subcutaneous fat-derived mesenchymal cells recently have been shown to have the potential to differentiate in vitro into a variety of cell types, including adipocytes, osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and myoblasts. This effect suggests that fat tissue may serve as an abundant and easily acquired source of multipotent cells for tissue engineering. The multipotential characteristics of fat-derived mesenchymal cells from the inguinial fat pad of rabbit have not been clearly defined. In this study we have isolated a population of mesenchymal cells from inguinal fat from adult New Zealand white rabbits. The cells that were maintained under various differentiation conditions were shown to differentiate in vitro into adipocytes, osteoblasts, or chondrocytes; this differentiation was demonstrated using gene expression for tissue-specific proteins. We also co-cultured the cells with intervertebral disk tissue from the nucleus pulpous or from the annulus fibrosus. The fat-derived cells co-cultured with nucleus pulposus showed an increase in expression of type II collagen and aggrecan genes, compared with cells in alginate alone and cells co-cultured with annulus fibrosus. The data suggest that the fat-derived mesenchymal cells responded to soluble mediators from the disk. Future studies on intervertebral disk reconstruction could be based on our findings with fat-derived multipotential cells from the inguinal region of the rabbit that were co-cultured with disk tissue and may prove useful in tissue engineering strategies.

Modulation of gene expression in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes by surface modification of polylactide-co-glycolide substrates
Brown, D. A., R. E. Beygui, et al. (2005), J Biomed Mater Res A 74(3): 419-29.
Abstract: Myocardial tissue engineering presents a potential treatment option for heart disease. Cardiomyocytes isolated at various stages of development retain the ability to form contractile networks in vitro, which suggests that it should be possible to reconstitute viable myocardium given the appropriate architecture, stimuli, and cardiomyogenic cell source. This study investigates the effects of modifying substrate surface energy (by plasma etching) and protein coating (by fibronectin adsorption) on neonatal rat ventricular myocyte (NRVM) function. Primary NRVMs were cultured for 96 h on modified and control films of a common degradable polymer, polylactide-co-glycolide. Cultures were analyzed for cell spreading, protein content, and mRNA expression of atrial natriuretic factor and beta-myosin heavy chain. The results demonstrate that NRVMs cultured on etched films significantly increased in spreading, myofibril development, protein content, and gene expression of atrial natriuretic factor and beta-myosin heavy chain compared with unetched films, and that this surface energy effect is overwhelmed by the addition of fibronectin. Conclusions from this study are that surface energy and protein adsorption influence the gene expression of adherent NRVMs, and may be important for modulating the function of engineered myocardium.

Modulation of surface charge, particle size and morphological properties of chitosan-TPP nanoparticles intended for gene delivery
Gan, Q., T. Wang, et al. (2005), Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 44(2-3): 65-73.
Abstract: This work investigates the polyanion initiated gelation process in fabricating chitosan-TPP (tripolyphosphate) nanoparticles in the size range of 100-250 nm intended to be used as carriers for the delivery of gene or protein macromolecules. It demonstrates that ionic gelation of cationic chitosan molecules offers a flexible and easily controllable process for systematically and predictably manipulating particle size and surface charge which are important properties in determining gene transfection efficacy if the nanoparticles are used as non-viral vectors for gene delivery, or as delivery carriers for protein molecules. Variations in chitosan molecular weight, chitosan concentration, chitosan to TPP weight ratio and solution pH value were examined systematically for their effects on nanoparticle size, intensity of surface charge, and tendency of particle aggregation so as to enable speedy fabrication of chitosan nanoparticles with predetermined properties. The chitosan-TPP nanoparticles exhibited a high positive surface charge across a wide pH range, and the isoelectric point (IEP) of the nanoparticles was found to be at pH 9.0. Detailed imaging analysis of the particle morphology revealed that the nanoparticles possess typical shapes of polyhedrons (e.g., pentagon and hexagon), indicating a similar crystallisation mechanism during the particle formation and growth process. This study demonstrates that systematic design and modulation of the surface charge and particle size of chitosan-TPP nanoparticles can be readily achieved with the right control of critical processing parameters, especially the chitosan to TPP weight ratio.

Modulation of the pH-responsive properties of poly(L-lysine iso-phthalamide) grafted with a poly(ethylene glycol) analogue
Yue, Z., M. E. Eccleston, et al. (2005), Biomaterials 26(32): 6357-66.
Abstract: A pH responsive pseudopeptide, poly(L-lysine iso-phthalamide), has been modified with a hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) analogue, Jeffamine M-1000 and the effect of grafting ratio on the pH responsive behaviour of the grafted polymers in aqueous solution investigated using fluorescence and 1H NMR spectroscopy. It was demonstrated that at below 35.1 wt% grafting, the modified polymers retained the pH-driven conformational transition of the parent polymer from an expanded structure at high degrees of ionisation to a compact hydrophobically stabilised structure at low degrees of ionisation. The onset of pH response and the pH range over which the conformational transition occurred varied significantly with degree of grafting. At Jeffamine M-1000 ratios in excess of 48.0 wt%, the graft polymer existed in a micellular form over the whole pH studied. Potential applications in drug delivery of both the linear and micellular forms are discussed.

Modulation of the responses of human osteoblast-like cells to physiologic mechanical strains by biomaterial surfaces
Di Palma, F., A. Guignandon, et al. (2005), Biomaterials 26(20): 4249-57.
Abstract: In a previous study we demonstrated that MG-63 cells cultured on Ti-6Al-4V discs covered by alumina ceramic and submitted to intermittent mechanical strain (IMS) presented morphological alteration associated with enhanced differentiation. Here we examine how the mechanical response of osteoblasts can be modulated by the nature of the substrate. MG-63 cells were cultured on four materials: polystyrene and Ti-6Al-4V (average roughness = 0.48 microm) as smooth substrates; Ti-6Al-4V (average roughness = 5.76 microm) and Ti-6Al-4V covered with alumina (average roughness = 5.21 microm) as rough substrates. Mechanical strains were applied for 15 min, three times a day for 1-5 days with a 600 microstrains magnitude and a 0.25 Hz frequency. IMS stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity by 25-35% on all substrates and had no effect on cell growth on either substrate. Fibronectin (FN) was chosen as representative of cell-matrix interaction. FN production was increased by 60% after 1 day of stretching only on alumina-coated discs. FN organization examined on smooth substrates was affected by 5 days of IMS, showing a thickening of the fibres. The same modifications induced by IMS were previously observed on alumina-covered discs. Vinculin expression was not affected by IMS whatever the substrate. Cell-cell interactions were determined by N-cadherin immunoblotting. N-cadherin expression was increased by IMS specifically on rough substrates. Our results suggest that the nature of the surface did not influence the up-regulation of alkaline phosphatase activity induced by IMS, but modulates specifically cell-substrate as well as cell-cell interactions in response to IMS.

Modulation of the tissue reaction to biomaterials. II. The function of T cells in the inflammatory reaction to crosslinked collagen implanted in T-cell-deficient rats
van Luyn, M. J., I. M. Khouw, et al. (1998), J Biomed Mater Res 39(3): 398-406.
Abstract: Unwanted tissue reactions are often observed resulting in events such as early resorption of the biomaterial, loosening of the implant, or a chronic (immunologic) response. From immunologic studies it is known that inflammatory reactions can be modulated by use of (anti)-growth factors or anti-inflammatory drugs. Before this can be employed with respect to biomaterials, the role of individual factors (humoral and cellular) has to be studied. In this part of the investigation, the role of T cells was studied by use of T-cell-deficient (nude) rats and control (AO) rats. Hexamethylenediisocyanate-crosslinked dermal sheep collagen (HDSC) was selected as the test material. The results showed that T cells or T cell-related factors played a prominent role in the attraction of macrophages and the formation of giant cells, their antigen presentation, and their phagocytotic capacity. As a consequence, degradation of HDSC was strongly delayed. This study also showed that infiltration of fibroblasts and creation of stromal areas in HDSC was restricted to areas subjected to degradation. However, in time, absence of T cells resulted in increased formation and maturation of autologous rat collagen. Results obtained suggest that the inflammatory reaction to biomaterials might be modulated by controlling T-cell activation.

Molecular approaches to the characterization of cell and blood/biomaterial interactions
Menconi, M. J., T. Owen, et al. (1992), J Card Surg 7(2): 177-87.
Abstract: In order to address questions related to cell/biomaterial interactions with respect to cell function and production of extracellular matrix proteins that support or maintain cell/tissue specific properties, we have developed molecular approaches for analysis of in vivo implanted materials and in vitro studies. In an explant of a human left ventricular assist device (LVAD), intact total cellular RNA could be isolated in sufficient quantities for hybridization analyses with gene-specific probes to evaluate cell growth, cytoskeletal organization, and production of extracellular matrix proteins. Cells harvested from a 132-day implanted LVAD exhibited proliferative activity and expressed genes for fibronectin and collagen types I, III, and IV. In vitro studies revealed that endothelial cells cultured on two different segmented polyurethane biomaterials (Biomer and Tecoflex 60D) exhibited different patterns of gene expression that reflected differences in cell growth rates, morphology, and composition of the extracellular matrix. These methodologies provide a valuable approach for a detailed evaluation of: (1) the biocompatibility of cells colonizing implanted cardiac assist devices; and (2) the functionality of cells seeded onto biomaterials.

Molecular aspects of bacterial adhesion, colonization, and development of infections associated with biomaterials
Wadstrom, T. (1989), J Invest Surg 2(4): 353-60.
Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci of species commonly isolated from biomaterial-associated infections commonly express fibronectin-binding surface proteins and the ability to interact with collagen. These findings, as well as the ability of coagulase-negative staphylococci to produce surface slime or capsular material, are presented as alternative models for how biofilms develop on biomaterial surfaces. Further knowledge of how bacteria and eukaryotic cells interact with various biomaterials will stimulate the development of better tissue implant devices to avoid biomaterial-associated infections.

Molecular barriers to biomaterial thrombosis by modification of surface proteins with polyethylene glycol
Deible, C. R., P. Petrosko, et al. (1998), Biomaterials 19(20): 1885-93.
Abstract: For cardiovascular biomaterials, thrombosis, thromboembolism and vascular graft occlusion are believed to be precipitated by the adsorption of proteins containing adhesive ligands for platelets. Polyethylene-glycol-diisocyanate (PEG-diisocyanate, 3400 MW) may potentially react with protein amines to form molecular barriers on adsorbed proteins on biomaterials, thereby masking adhesive ligands and preventing acute surface thrombosis. To test this notion, PE, PTFE, and glass microconduits were pre-adsorbed with fibrinogen and treated with PEG-diisocyanate, non-reactive PEG-dihydroxyl, or remained untreated. Following perfusion of 111In-labeled platelets in whole human blood for 1 min (wall shear rate = 312 s(-1)), PEG-diisocyanate treated surfaces experienced 96% (PE), 97% (PTFE) and 94% (glass) less platelet deposition than untreated surfaces. Similar reductions were seen for PEG-diisocyanate versus PEG-dihydroxyl treatment. Low shear perfusions of plasma for 1 h prior to blood contact did not reduce the inhibitory effect of PEG-diisocyanate. Platelet adhesion onto collagen-coated glass coverslips and platelet deposition onto preclotted Dacron were also reduced by treatment with PEG-diisocyanate (93 and 91%, respectively). Protein-reactive PEG may thus have utility in forming molecular barriers on surface-associated proteins to inhibit acute thrombosis on cardiovascular biomaterials.

Molecular barriers to biomaterial thrombosis by modification of surface proteins with polyethylene glycol
Deible, C. R., P. Petrosko, et al. (1999), Biomaterials 20(2): 101-9.
Abstract: For cardiovascular biomaterials, thrombosis, thromboembolism and vascular graft occlusion are believed to be precipitated by the adsorption of proteins containing adhesive ligands for platelets. Polyethylene-glycol-diisocyanate(PEG-diisocyanate, 3400 MW) may potentially react with protein amines to form molecular barriers on adsorbed proteins on biomaterials, thereby masking adhesive ligands and preventing acute surface thrombosis. To test this notion, PE, PTFE, and glass microconduits were pre-adsorbed with fibrinogen and treated with PEG-diisocyanate, non-reactive PEG-dihydroxyl, or remained untreated. Following perfusion of 111In-labeled platelets in whole human blood for 1 min (wall shear rate = 312 s(-1)), PEG-diisocyanate treated surfaces experienced 96%(PE), 97%(PTFE) and 94% (glass) less platelet deposition than untreated surfaces. Similar reductions were seen for PEG-diisocyanate versus PEG-dihydroxyl treatment. Low shear perfusions of plasma for one hour prior to blood contact did not reduce the inhibitory effect of PEG-diisocyanate. Platelet adhesion onto collagen coated glass coverslips and platelet deposition onto preclotted Dacron was also reduced by treatment with PEG-diisocyanate (93 and 91%, respectively). Protein-reactive PEG may thus have utility in forming molecular barriers on surface associated proteins to inhibit acute thrombosis on cardiovascular biomaterials.

Molecular basis of biomaterial-mediated foreign body reactions
Hu, W. J., J. W. Eaton, et al. (2001), Blood 98(4): 1231-8.
Abstract: Despite being inert and nontoxic, implanted biomaterials often trigger adverse foreign body reactions such as inflammation, fibrosis, infection, and thrombosis. With regard to the inflammatory responses to biomaterial implants, it was previously found that a crucial precedent event was the spontaneous adsorption and denaturation of fibrinogen on implant surfaces. It was further found that interactions between the phagocyte integrin Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) and one short sequence within the fibrinogen D domain (gamma 190-202; P1) at least partially explained phagocyte accumulation on implant surfaces. However, the reason that adsorbed fibrinogen is proinflammatory--while soluble fibrinogen clearly is not--remained obscure. In this study, therefore, the question of how fibrinogen is converted to a proinflammatory state when adsorbed to biomaterial surfaces is investigated. In soluble fibrinogen, the 13 amino acid P1 sequence was found to be hidden. However, the adsorption and denaturation of fibrinogen on the surfaces of commonly used biomaterials lead to the exposure of P1 and a second neo-epitope, gamma 377-395 (P2), which also interacts with Mac-1 and is similarly occult in the soluble protein. The extent of biomaterial-mediated P1 and P2 exposure appears directly related to the severity of inflammatory responses to a test panel of biomaterials. Finally, thrombin-mediated conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin also exposes both P1 and P2 epitopes. These observations may help explain both the inflammation caused by many types of implanted biomaterials and that which occurs naturally following thrombotic events. (Blood. 2001;98:1231-1238)

Molecular bioengineering of biomaterials in the 1990s and beyond: a growing liaison of polymers with molecular biology
Hoffman, A. S. (1992), Artif Organs 16(1): 43-9.
Abstract: An important trend in biomaterials research and development is the synthesis of polymers that combine capabilities of biologic recognition (biomimetic) with special physicochemical properties of the synthetic polymer system. Another important trend in such "molecular bioengineering" is to develop, perhaps via computer-aided molecular design, new artificial biomimetic systems by exact placement of functional groups on rigid polymer backbones, cross-linked structures, or macromolecular assemblies. In this way, biocatalytic functioning or biorecognition similar to enzymes and antibodies can be achieved without the inherent instability often encountered with the native biomolecules or assemblies. Perhaps the most exciting trend in biomaterials research and development is the availability of new biomolecules, e.g., via protein engineering and of hardy cells with specific biofunctions and bioresponses that can be tailored to specific medical or biotechnological needs. The wide variety of ways that such biomolecules and cells can be combined with polymeric biomaterials provides tremendously exciting opportunities for the biomaterials scientists and engineers. In addition to these synthetic approaches, new and exciting analytical tools, such as the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope, are permitting study on a molecular scale of individual and small clusters of proteins and other biomolecular assemblies on surfaces. Cell attachments and spreading may also be visualized at various depths within the cell using the confocal laser microscope. Such analytical techniques can lead to important new knowledge about biologic interactions with biomaterials and, therefore, to development of even more biocompatible implants and devices. This paper overviews the present state of polymeric biomaterials and highlights the important and exciting opportunities generated by the liaison of these materials with molecular biology.

Molecular biological evaluation of bioactive glass microspheres and adjunct bone morphogenetic protein 2 gene transfer in the enhancement of new bone formation
Valimaki, V. V., J. J. Yrjans, et al. (2005), Tissue Eng 11(3-4): 387-94.
Abstract: Bioactive glass is a promising osteoconductive silica-based biomaterial for guidance of new bone growth. On the basis of several in vitro studies, the material appears able to promote osteoblast functions. In our in vivo study, the osteopromotive effect of bioactive glass microspheres seemed to surpass the osteoinductive action of direct adenovirus-mediated human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) gene transfer in a noncritical size bone defect model. The current study was initiated to elucidate the molecular mechanism behind bioactive glass action with or without adjunct BMP-2 gene transfer. A standardized bone defect of the rat tibia was filled with bioactive glass microspheres and injected with adenovirus carrying the human BMP-2 gene (RAdBMP-2). Control defects were left empty or filled with bioactive glass microspheres with injection of adenovirus carrying the lacZ reporter gene or saline. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction confirmed the expression of the transferred human BMP-2 gene at the defect area at 4 days, but not in intact reference tissues. Bone matrix components (collagens I, II, and III, osteocalcin, osteonectin, and osteopontin) and resorption markers (cathepsin K and MMP-9), determined by Northern analysis, showed a completely different pattern of gene expression in defects filled with bioactive glass compared with control defects left to heal without filling. Bioactive glass induced a long-lasting production of bone matrix with concurrent upregulation of osteoclastic markers, a sign of high bone turnover. Combining RAdBMP-2 gene transfer with bioactive glass decelerated the high turnover, but did not influence the balance of synthesis and resorption. This molecular analysis confirmed not only the highly osteopromotive effect of bioactive glass microspheres, but also the accelerated rate of new bone resorption on its surface. At least in noncritical size defects this impact of bioactive glass seems to saturate new bone formation on its surface and thereby overshadow the effect of BMP-2 gene transfer.

Molecular determinants of acute inflammatory responses to biomaterials
Tang, L., T. P. Ugarova, et al. (1996), J Clin Invest 97(5): 1329-34.
Abstract: The frequent inflammatory responses to implanted medical devices are puzzling in view of the inert and nontoxic nature of most biomaterials. Because implant surfaces spontaneously adsorb host proteins, this proteinaceous film is probably important in the subsequent attraction of phagocytes. In fact, earlier we found that acute inflammatory responses to experimental polyethylene terephthalate implants in mice require the precedent adsorption of one particular host protein, fibrinogen. The present investigations were aimed at defining the molecular determinants of fibrinogen-mediated acute inflammatory responses to implanted biomaterials. We find: (a) plasmin degradation of purified fibrinogen into defined domains reveals that the proinflammatory activity resides within the D fragment, which contains neither the fibrin cross-linking sites nor RGD sequences; (b) the major (and, perhaps, exclusive) proinflammatory sequence appears to be fibrinogen gamma 190-202, previously shown to interact with CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1). The chemically synthesized peptide, cross-linked to albumin (which itself does not promote inflammatory responses), mimics the proinflammatory effect of adsorbed native fibrinogen; and (c) this sequence probably promotes inflammatory responses through interactions with Mac-1 because phagocyte accumulation on experimental implants is almost completely abrogated by administration of recombinant neutrophil inhibitory factor (which blocks CD11b-fibrin(ogen) interaction). We conclude that improved knowledge of such surface-protein-phagocyte interactions may permit the future development of more biocompatible implantable materials.

Molecular determinants of biocompatibility
Tang, L. and W. Hu (2005), Expert Rev Med Devices 2(4): 493-500.
Abstract: The biocompatibility of medical implants dictates the fate of almost all medical devices. It is well established that medical devices trigger a variety of adverse tissue responses, such as inflammation, fibrosis, infection and thrombosis. However, the mechanisms involved in biomaterial-mediated tissue responses remain largely unknown. The lack of such knowledge hinders the development of biomaterials with better biocompatibility and safety. The aim of this review is to summarize our current understanding of the processes governing foreign body reactions to tissue-contact devices. Obviously, this information is urgently needed for assisting the rational design of materials or medical devices to minimize undesirable tissue reactions upon implantation and, in addition, to promote the wound healing process.

Molecular engineering of silk-elastinlike polymers for matrix-mediated gene delivery: biosynthesis and characterization
Haider, M., V. Leung, et al. (2005), Mol Pharm 2(2): 139-50.
Abstract: The unique advantage of genetic engineering techniques for the design and development of polymers for controlled gene delivery lies in exquisite control over polymer structure. In this article we report the biosynthesis and characterization of a series of new silk-elastinlike protein polymers (SELPs), namely, SELP415K, with larger elastin blocks per monomer unit than SELP47K previously studied for matrix-mediated gene delivery. A new cloning strategy was used, where a block of eight elastin units (8E) was integrated into the existing DNA sequence of SELP47K monomer genes using appropriate restriction endonuclease recognition sites. Following random multimerization, multimer gene segments of desired size were selected, expressed, and purified on Ni-agarose columns. The molecular weight and sequence composition of the purified SELPs were determined by MALDI-TOF and amino acid analysis, respectively. The influence of structural changes on the rheological properties of the polymers was investigated. In addition, hydrogel disks were prepared from 47K and 415K-8mer polymer solutions, and the effects of cure time and environmental conditions on the hydrogel equilibrium swelling ratio as a function of polymer composition were studied. DNA sequencing and agarose gel electrophoresis confirmed the successful cloning of the monomer gene segment of SELP415K consisting of 312 bp. Random concatemerization of SELP415K monomer gene segments resulted in a library of SELP415K multimer sequences of 6, 8, and 10 repeats respectively, each yielding a polymer with exact molecular weight and sequence. Rheometric measurements showed that both complex shear modulus (G*) and gelation point were influenced by polymer composition. Equilibrium swelling studies on hydrogel disks prepared from 47K and 415K-8mer polymer solutions showed that changes in polymer composition resulted in different gelation patterns and increased sensitivity toward changes in temperature and ionic strength but not pH. Together these results demonstrate the potential of recombinant techniques in engineering polymers with defined structures which allows the study of the structural parameters affecting matrix-mediated delivery of genes and bioactive agents.

Molecular gradients: an efficient approach for optimizing the surface properties of biomaterials and biochips
Riepl, M., M. Ostblom, et al. (2005), Langmuir 21(3): 1042-50.
Abstract: A variety of molecular gradients of alkanethiols with the structure HS-(CH(2))(m)-X (m = 15; X = COOH, CH(2)NH(2), or CH(3)) and oligo(ethylene glycol)-terminated alkanethiols with the structures HS-(CH(2))(15)-CO-NH-Eg(n) (n = 2, 4, or 6), HS-(CH(2))(15)-CO-NH-Eg(2)-(CH(2))(2)-NH-CO-(CH(2))(4)-biotin, and HS-(CH(2))(15)-CO-NH-Eg(6)-CH(2)-COOH were prepared on polycrystalline gold films. These gradients were designed to serve as model surfaces for fundamental studies of protein adsorption and immobilization phenomena. Ellipsometry, infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, operating in scanning mode, were used to monitor the layer composition, gradient profiles, tail group conformation, and overall structural quality of the gradient assemblies. The gradient profiles were found to be 4-10 mm wide, and they increased in width with increasing difference in molecular complexity between the thiols used to form the gradient. The oligo(ethylene glycol) thiols are particularly interesting because they can be used to prepare so-called conformational gradients, that is, gradients that display a variation in oligo(ethylene glycol) chain conformation from all trans on the extreme Eg(2,4) sides, via an amorphous-like phase in the mixing regimes, to helical at the extreme Eg(6) sides. We demonstrate herein a series of experiments where the above gradients are used to evaluate nonspecific binding of the plasma protein fibrinogen, and in agreement with previous studies, the highest amounts of nonspecifically bound fibrinogen were observed on all-trans monolayers, that is, on the extreme Eg(2,4) sides. Moreover, gradients between Eg(2) and a biotinylated analogue have been prepared to optimize the conditions for the immobilization of streptavidin. Ellipsometry and infrared spectroscopy reveal high levels of immobilization over a fairly broad range of compositions in the gradient regime, with a maximum between 50 and 60% of the biotinylated analogue in the monolayer. A pI gradient composed of (NH(3)(+)/COO(-))-terminated thiols was also prepared and evaluated with respect to its ability to separate differently charged proteins, pepsin, and lysozyme, on a solid surface.

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Last Modified: 8 February 2006