PLGA/SF blend scaffolds modified with plasmid complexes for enhancing proliferation of endothelial cells


Biomimetic scaffolds have been investigated for vascular tissue engineering for many years. However, the design of an ideal biodegradable vascular scaffold is still in progress. The optimization of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/silk fibroin (PLGA/SF) blend composition was performed to provide the designed scaffolds with adequate mechanical properties and favorable biocompatibility for the intended application. By systematically varying the weight ratio of PLGA and SF, we could control fiber diameter and hydrophilicity as well as mechanical properties of the fibrous scaffolds. These scaffolds with a weight ratio of PLGA/SF at 70/30 exhibited excellent performance, such as tensile strength of 1.5 ± 0.1 MPa, and elongation at break of 77.4 ± 6.4%. Therefore, PLGA/SF scaffold with a weight ratio of 70/30 was chose as the matrix because it matches at best the mechanical demands for application in vascular tissue engineering. In order to promote the endothelialization of electrospun scaffolds, we used pEGFP-ZNF580 plasmid (pZNF580) complexes to modify the electrospun scaffolds by electrospraying technique. pZNF580 complexes were prepared from pZNF580 and microparticles (MPs) of amphiphilic copolymer methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(3(S)-methyl-2,5-morpholinedione-co-glycolide)-graft-polyethyleneimine. Negatively charged PLGA/SF fibers adsorbed the positively charged MPs via physical deposition and electrostatic force. Scanning electron microscope image indicated the forming of composite scaffold and MPs did not change fiber’s shape and 3-D structure. Cell culture experiments demonstrated that the scaffolds modified with MPs/pZNF580 complexes could promote human umbilical vein endothelial cell growth and inhibit human umbilical artery smooth muscle cell proliferation. Our results indicated that the composite scaffolds with MPs/pZNF580 complexes could be used as a potential scaffold for vascular tissue engineering.
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