The regulation of focal adhesion complex formation and salivary gland epithelial cell organization by nanofibrous PLGA scaffolds.

Department of Biological Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Ave, LSRB 1086, Albany, NY 12222, USA.
Biomaterials (Impact Factor: 8.31). 04/2012; 33(11):3175-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2012.01.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nanofiber scaffolds have been useful for engineering tissues derived from mesenchymal cells, but few studies have investigated their applicability for epithelial cell-derived tissues. In this study, we generated nanofiber (250 nm) or microfiber (1200 nm) scaffolds via electrospinning from the polymer, poly-l-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA). Cell-scaffold contacts were visualized using fluorescent immunocytochemistry and laser scanning confocal microscopy. Focal adhesion (FA) proteins, such as phosphorylated FAK (Tyr397), paxillin (Tyr118), talin and vinculin were localized to FA complexes in adult cells grown on planar surfaces but were reduced and diffusely localized in cells grown on nanofiber surfaces, similar to the pattern observed in adult mouse salivary gland tissues. Significant differences in epithelial cell morphology and cell clustering were also observed and quantified, using image segmentation and computational cell-graph analyses. No statistically significant differences in scaffold stiffness between planar PLGA film controls compared to nanofibers scaffolds were detected using nanoindentation with atomic force microscopy, indicating that scaffold topography rather than mechanical properties accounts for changes in cell attachments and cell structure. Finally, PLGA nanofiber scaffolds could support the spontaneous self-organization and branching of dissociated embryonic salivary gland cells. Nanofiber scaffolds may therefore have applicability in the future for engineering an artificial salivary gland.

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