Tissue-to-cellular level deformation coupling in cell micro-integrated elastomeric scaffolds.

Stella JA, Liao J, Hong Y, David Merryman W, Wagner WR, Sacks MS
Biomaterials. 2008 29 (22): 3228-36

PMID: 18472154 · PMCID: PMC2601465 · DOI:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.04.029

In engineered tissues we are challenged to reproduce extracellular matrix and cellular deformation coupling that occurs within native tissues, which is a meso-micro scale phenomenon that profoundly affects tissue growth and remodeling. With our ability to electrospin polymer fiber scaffolds while simultaneously electrospraying viable cells, we are provided with a unique platform to investigate cellular deformations within a three dimensional elastomeric fibrous scaffold. Scaffold specimens micro-integrated with vascular smooth muscle cells were subjected to controlled biaxial stretch with 3D cellular deformations and local fiber microarchitecture simultaneously quantified. We demonstrated that the local fiber geometry followed an affine behavior, so that it could be predicted by macro-scaffold deformations. However, local cellular deformations depended non-linearly on changes in fiber microarchitecture and ceased at large strains where the scaffold fibers completely straightened. Thus, local scaffold microstructural changes induced by macro-level applied strain dominated cellular deformations, so that monotonic increases in scaffold strain do not necessitate similar levels of cellular deformation. This result has fundamental implications when attempting to elucidate the events of de-novo tissue development and remodeling in engineered tissues, which are thought to depend substantially on cellular deformations.

MeSH Terms (10)

Animals Biocompatible Materials Elastomers Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Electron, Transmission Polymers Rats Stress, Mechanical Tissue Engineering Tissue Scaffolds

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