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 Decoding cement's shape promises greener concrete
08.12.2016 | Rice University

nachricht Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D
08.12.2016 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>