Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Giving cells star treatment

15.06.2015

A three-dimensional star-shaped polymer network enhances cell adhesion and growth for tissue regeneration.

Tissues and organs in the body are sometimes damaged to such an extent that they require artificial support to heal. Now, A*STAR researchers have used star-shaped polymers to produce a three-dimensional network that is both compatible with human tissue and facilitates cells to adhere and proliferate under controlled biological conditions[¹].


Schematic representation of the star-shaped polymer network showing the polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) cores and crosslinked polycaprolactone (PCL)–polyurethane (PU) arms.

Copyright : Adapted by A*STAR with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd: NPG Asia Materials (Ref. 1), copyright (2014)

To build this network, Ming-Yong Han, Khin Yin Win and co-workers from the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering in Singapore incorporated an inorganic component ― polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) ― into a common tissue engineering material, polycaprolactone–polyurethane.

This addition was designed to enhance the material’s porosity and interaction with cells as well as improve its thermal and mechanical stability. POSS consisted of a silica cube bearing eight organic arms capable of covalent bonding with other polymers (see image). The silica cube provided a rigid core from which emerged polycaprolactone–polyurethane arms.

To generate this material, the researchers synthesized POSS cores terminated by reactive functional groups from an organic alcohol, in the presence of a silicon-based catalyst. They then attached polycaprolactone units to the cores to extend their arms. Finally, they added the polyurethane precursor as a crosslinker to complete the network.

Unlike its linear counterpart, the POSS-based material had a rough surface consisting of microscopic spheres from which fibrous structures spread. The unique surface morphology, which consisted of water-repelling POSS and polymer arms, helped the cells to adhere and proliferate. This biomaterial was biocompatible and had a high porosity; these properties allowed the material to promote cell growth while simultaneously permitting the exchange of nutrients and metabolites.

The researchers evaluated the degradation of the polymer network under physiological conditions for 52 weeks. The network decomposed little during the first 24 weeks, but subsequently lost weight rapidly.

Han explains that the water-repelling nature and protective effect of the POSS moieties limited the initial hydrolytic degradation. “The degradation accelerated only after these POSS moieties had broken down,” he adds.

This degradation behavior enables cell adhesion and proliferation on the network during the initial stage and elimination of the scaffold after tissue has formed, making the POSS-based network highly attractive as a scaffold. Moreover, most cells remained viable when exposed to the degradation products of these POSS-based and linear polymers, confirming their biocompatibility.

The team is currently exploring ways to apply the star-shaped polymer as a scaffold for tissue regeneration. “We are planning to use it for three-dimensional tissue reconstruction and modeling,” says Han.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering.

Reference

1. Teng, C. P., Mya, K. Y., Win, K. Y., Yeo, C. C., Low, M., He, C. & Han, M.-Y. Star-shaped polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane-polycaprolactone-polyurethane as biomaterials for tissue engineering application. NPG Asia Materials 6, e142 (2014). |


Associated links
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/7294
 

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests
15.12.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>