Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Gluing Cells

Hybrid made from nanofibers and mussel adhesive protein as substrate for tissue culture

It’s not just what’s inside the cell that counts; its surroundings are important too. For example, the extracellular matrix plays an important role in connective tissue and cartilage, as well as the growth and regeneration of bones. In order to culture tissue in the laboratory, it is also necessary to have a scaffolding that imitates the natural extracellular matrix.

(c) Wiley-VCH

In the journal Angewandte Chemie, a team led by Hyung Joon Cha at the Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea) has now introduced a novel substrate: a hybrid made of synthetic nanofibers and an “adhesive” from marine mussels, to which cells can simply be “glued”.

It is important to imitate the fibrous structure of the extracellular matrix, but that is not enough to get the cells to grow onto it. The fibers must have a surface with the right biological functionality. To achieve this, biomolecules from the extracellular matrix are usually attached to synthetic nanofibers—often by way of some highly complicated procedures. A simple, universal technique would be desirable, and the Korean team now seems to have succeeded in finding one—thanks to a special mussel adhesive.

Marine mussels excrete an adhesive protein in order to attach themselves to surfaces in water. This adhesive reliably binds them to nearly all materials: stones, other shells, boardwalks, the hulls of ships. It is thus an ideal universal adhesive. It has now become possible to use genetically modified bacteria to massively produce a mussel adhesive protein.

The Korean researchers used an electrospinning process to produce nanofibers of this mussel adhesive, though these fibers were not a sufficiently solid substrate for cell culture. When spun together in the right proportions with a biocompatible synthetic polymer, however, they formed fibers with good mechanical properties. The synthetic polymer forms the backbone of the fibers, while the mussel adhesive attaches to the nanofibers, making their surface “sticky”. Biomolecules such as proteins, DNA, and carbohydrates stick to it firmly to form an even coat—just dip the fibers into a solution of the desired substance.

Cells also stick to this fibrous substrate very well, as demonstrated with precursor bone-forming cells. The cells attach to the mussel adhesive/polymer nanofibers, spread out, and multiply. This works even better if the mussel adhesive fusion protein also contains a special cell-recognition sequence, thus making the novel mussel-adhesive-containing nanofibers an interesting substrate for tissue culture applications.

Author: Hyung Joon Cha, Pohang University of Science and Technology (Rep. Korea),
Title: Reinforced Multifunctionalized Nanofibrous Scaffolds Using Mussel Adhesive Proteins

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article:

Hyung Joon Cha | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How a fungus inhibits the immune system of plants
27.10.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht The gene of autumn colours
27.10.2016 | Hokkaido University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>