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Tissue engineering approaches for the repair of osteochondral defects using biomaterial scaffolds and stem cells have remained challenging due to the inherent complexities of inducing cartilage-like matrix and bone-like matrix within the same local environment. Members of the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family have been extensively utilized in the engineering of skeletal tissues, but have distinct effects on chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of progenitor cells. The goal of this study was to develop a method to direct human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to deposit either mineralized matrix or a cartilaginous matrix rich in glycosaminoglycan and type II collagen within the same biochemical environment. This differential induction was performed by culturing cells on engineered three-dimensionally woven poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) scaffolds in a chondrogenic environment for cartilage-like matrix production while inhibiting TGFβ3 signaling through Mothers against DPP homolog 3 (SMAD3) knockdown, in combination with overexpressing RUNX2, to achieve mineralization. The highest levels of mineral deposition and alkaline phosphatase activity were observed on scaffolds with genetically engineered MSCs and exhibited a synergistic effect in response to SMAD3 knockdown and RUNX2 expression. Meanwhile, unmodified MSCs on PCL scaffolds exhibited accumulation of an extracellular matrix rich in glycosaminoglycan and type II collagen in the same biochemical environment. This ability to derive differential matrix deposition in a single culture condition opens new avenues for developing complex tissue replacements for chondral or osteochondral defects.
Reconstructive treatment after trauma and tumor resection would greatly benefit from an effective soft tissue regeneration. The use of cell-free scaffolds for adipose tissue regeneration in vivo is emerging as an attractive alternative to tissue-engineered constructs, since this approach avoids complications due to cell manipulation and lack of synchronous vascularization. In this study, we developed a biodegradable polyurethane-based scaffold for soft tissue regeneration, characterized by an exceptional combination between softness and resilience. Exploring the potential as a cell-free scaffold required profound understanding of the impact of its intrinsic physico-chemical properties on the biological performance in vivo. We investigated the effect of the scaffold's hydrophilic character, degradation kinetics, and internal morphology on (i) the local inflammatory response and activation of MGCs (foreign body response); (ii) its ability to promote rapid vascularisation, cell infiltration and migration through the scaffold over time; and (iii) the grade of maturation of the newly formed tissue into vascularized soft tissue in a murine model. The study revealed that soft tissue regeneration in vivo proceeded by gradual infiltration of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells though the periphery toward the center of the scaffold, where the rapid formation of a functional and well-formed vascular network supported cell viability overtime.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE - Exploring the potential of polyurethane-based soft foam as cell-free scaffold for soft tissue regeneration. In this work, we address the unmet need for synthetic functional soft tissue substitutes that provide adequate biological and mechanical support to soft tissue. We developed a series of flexible cross-linked polyurethane copolymer scaffolds with remarkable fatigue-resistance and tunable physico-chemical properties for soft tissue regeneration in vivo. Accordingly, we could extend the potential of this class of biomaterials, which was so far confined for bone and osteochondral tissue regeneration, to other types of connective tissue.
Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
As the complexity of interactions between tumor and its microenvironment has become more evident, a critical need to engineer in vitro models that veritably recapitulate the 3D microenvironment and relevant cell populations has arisen. This need has caused many groups to move away from the traditional 2D, tissue culture plastic paradigms in favor of 3D models with materials that more closely replicate the in vivo milieu. Creating these 3D models remains a difficult endeavor for hard and soft tissues alike as the selection of materials, fabrication processes, and optimal conditions for supporting multiple cell populations makes model development a nontrivial task. Bone tissue in particular is uniquely difficult to model in part because of the limited availability of materials that can accurately capture bone rigidity and architecture, and also due to the dependence of both bone and tumor cell behavior on mechanical signaling. Additionally, the bone is a complex cellular microenvironment with multiple cell types present, including relatively immature, pluripotent cells in the bone marrow. This prospect will focus on the current 3D models in development to more accurately replicate the bone microenvironment, which will help facilitate improved understanding of bone turnover, tumor-bone interactions, and drug response. These studies have demonstrated the importance of accurately modelling the bone microenvironment in order to fully understand signaling and drug response, and the significant effects that model properties such as architecture, rigidity, and dynamic mechanical factors have on tumor and bone cell response.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
3D printing enables the creation of scaffolds with precisely controlled morphometric properties for multiple tissue types, including musculoskeletal tissues such as cartilage and bone. Computed tomography (CT) imaging has been combined with 3D printing to fabricate anatomically scaled patient-specific scaffolds for bone regeneration. However, anatomically scaled scaffolds typically lack sufficient resolution to recapitulate the <100 micrometer-scale trabecular architecture essential for investigating the cellular response to the morphometric properties of bone. In this study, it is hypothesized that the architecture of trabecular bone regulates osteoblast differentiation and mineralization. To test this hypothesis, human bone-templated 3D constructs are fabricated via a new micro-CT/3D inkjet printing process. It is shown that this process reproducibly fabricates bone-templated constructs that recapitulate the anatomic site-specific morphometric properties of trabecular bone. A significant correlation is observed between the structure model index (a morphometric parameter related to surface curvature) and the degree of mineralization of human mesenchymal stem cells, with more concave surfaces promoting more extensive osteoblast differentiation and mineralization compared to predominately convex surfaces. These findings highlight the significant effects of trabecular architecture on osteoblast function.
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
INTRODUCTION - Osteomyelitis, a common and debilitating invasive infection of bone, is a frequent complication following orthopedic surgery and causes pathologic destruction of skeletal tissues. Bone destruction during osteomyelitis results in necrotic tissue, which is poorly penetrated by antibiotics and can serve as a nidus for relapsing infection. Osteomyelitis therefore frequently necessitates surgical debridement procedures, which provide a unique opportunity for targeted delivery of antimicrobial and adjunctive therapies. Areas covered: Following surgical debridement, tissue voids require implanted materials to facilitate the healing process. Antibiotic-loaded, non-biodegradable implants have been the standard of care. However, a new generation of biodegradable, osteoconductive materials are being developed. Additionally, in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance, alternative therapies to traditional antibiotic regimens are being investigated, including bone targeting compounds, antimicrobial surface modifications of orthopedic implants, and anti-virulence strategies. Expert commentary: Recent advances in biodegradable drug delivery scaffolds make this technology an attractive alternative to traditional techniques for orthopedic infection that require secondary operations for removal. Advances in novel treatment methods are expanding the arsenal of viable antimicrobial treatment strategies in the face of widespread drug resistance. Despite a need for large scale clinical investigations, these strategies offer hope for future treatment of this difficult invasive disease.
Impaired wound healing that mimics chronic human skin pathologies is difficult to achieve in current animal models, hindering testing and development of new therapeutic biomaterials that promote wound healing. In this article, we describe a refinement and simplification of the porcine ischemic wound model that increases the size and number of experimental sites per animal. By comparing three flap geometries, we adopted a superior configuration (15 × 10 cm) that enabled testing of twenty 1 cm wounds in each animal: 8 total ischemic wounds within 4 bipedicle flaps and 12 nonischemic wounds. The ischemic wounds exhibited impaired skin perfusion for ∼1 week. To demonstrate the utility of the model for comparative testing of tissue regenerative biomaterials, we evaluated the healing process in wounds implanted with highly porous poly (thioketal) urethane (PTK-UR) scaffolds that were fabricated through reaction of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-cleavable PTK macrodiols with isocyanates. PTK-lysine triisocyanate (LTI) scaffolds degraded significantly in vitro under both oxidative and hydrolytic conditions whereas PTK-hexamethylene diisocyanate trimer (HDIt) scaffolds were resistant to hydrolytic breakdown and degraded exclusively through an ROS-dependent mechanism. Upon placement into porcine wounds, both types of PTK-UR materials fostered new tissue ingrowth over 10 days in both ischemic and nonischemic tissue. However, wound perfusion, tissue infiltration and the abundance of pro-regenerative, M2-polarized macrophages were markedly lower in ischemic wounds independent of scaffold type. The PTK-LTI implants significantly improved tissue infiltration and perfusion compared with analogous PTK-HDIt scaffolds in ischemic wounds. Both LTI and HDIt-based PTK-UR implants enhanced M2 macrophage activity, and these cells were selectively localized at the scaffold/tissue interface. In sum, this modified porcine wound-healing model decreased animal usage, simplified procedures, and permitted a more robust evaluation of tissue engineering materials in preclinical wound healing research. Deployment of the model for a relevant biomaterial comparison yielded results that support the use of the PTK-LTI over the PTK-HDIt scaffold formulation for future advanced therapeutic studies.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Bone is a structurally unique microenvironment that presents many challenges for the development of 3D models for studying bone physiology and diseases, including cancer. As researchers continue to investigate the interactions within the bone microenvironment, the development of 3D models of bone has become critical.
RECENT FINDINGS - 3D models have been developed that replicate some properties of bone, but have not fully reproduced the complex structural and cellular composition of the bone microenvironment. This review will discuss 3D models including polyurethane, silk, and collagen scaffolds that have been developed to study tumor-induced bone disease. In addition, we discuss 3D printing techniques used to better replicate the structure of bone. 3D models that better replicate the bone microenvironment will help researchers better understand the dynamic interactions between tumors and the bone microenvironment, ultimately leading to better models for testing therapeutics and predicting patient outcomes.
Small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivered from reactive oxygen species-degradable tissue engineering scaffolds promotes diabetic wound healing in rats. Porous poly(thioketal-urethane) scaffolds implanted in diabetic wounds locally deliver siRNA that inhibits the expression of prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2, thereby increasing the expression of progrowth genes and increasing vasculature, proliferating cells, and tissue development in diabetic wounds.
© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
The growing need for therapies to treat large cutaneous defects has driven recent interest in the design of scaffolds that stimulate regenerative wound healing. While many studies have investigated local delivery of biologics as a restorative approach, an increasing body of evidence highlights the contribution of the mechanical properties of implanted scaffolds to wound healing. In the present study, we designed poly(ester urethane) scaffolds using a templated-Fused Deposition Modeling (t-FDM) process to test the hypothesis that scaffolds with substrate modulus comparable to that of collagen fibers enhance a regenerative versus a fibrotic response. We fabricated t-FDM scaffolds with substrate moduli varying from 5 to 266 MPa to investigate the effects of substrate modulus on healing in a rat subcutaneous implant model. Angiogenesis, cellular infiltration, collagen deposition, and directional variance of collagen fibers were maximized for wounds treated with scaffolds having a substrate modulus (Ks = 24 MPa) comparable to that of collagen fibers. The enhanced regenerative response in these scaffolds was correlated with down-regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in fibroblasts, as well as increased polarization of macrophages toward the restorative M2 phenotype. These observations highlight the substrate modulus of the scaffold as a key parameter regulating the regenerative versus scarring phenotype in wound healing. Our findings further point to the potential use of scaffolds with substrate moduli tuned to that of the native matrix as a therapeutic approach to improve cutaneous healing.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The filling of wound cavities with new tissue is a challenge. We previously reported on the physical properties and wound healing kinetics of prefabricated, gas-blown polyurethane (PUR) scaffolds in rat and porcine excisional wounds. To address the capability of this material to fill complex wound cavities, this study examined the in vitro and in vivo reparative characteristics of injected PUR scaffolds employing a sucrose porogen. Using the porcine excisional wound model, we compared reparative outcomes to both preformed and injected scaffolds as well as untreated wounds at 9, 13, and 30 days after scaffold placement. Both injected and preformed scaffolds delayed wound contraction by 19% at 9 days and 12% at 13 days compared to nontreated wounds. This stenting effect proved transient since both formulations degraded by day 30. Both types of scaffolds significantly inhibited the undesirable alignment of collagen and fibroblasts through day 13. Injected scaffolds were highly compatible with sentinel cellular events of normal wound repair cell proliferation, apoptosis, and blood vessel density. The present study provides further evidence that either injected or preformed PUR scaffolds facilitate wound healing, support tissue infiltration and matrix production, delay wound contraction, and reduce scarring in a clinically relevant animal model, which underscores their potential utility as a void-filling platform for large cutaneous defects. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 104B: 1679-1690, 2016.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.