Chemical surface modification of poly-ε-caprolactone improves Schwann cell proliferation for peripheral nerve repair.
ABSTRACT Poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) is a biodegradable and biocompatible polymer used in tissue engineering for various clinical applications. Schwann cells (SCs) play an important role in nerve regeneration and repair. SCs attach and proliferate on PCL films but cellular responses are weak due to the hydrophobicity and neutrality of PCL. In this study, PCL films were hydrolysed and aminolysed to modify the surface with different functional groups and improve hydrophilicity. Hydrolysed films showed a significant increase in hydrophilicity while maintaining surface topography. A significant decrease in mechanical properties was also observed in the case of aminolysis. In vitro tests with Schwann cells (SCs) were performed to assess film biocompatibility. A short-time experiment showed improved cell attachment on modified films, in particular when amino groups were present on the material surface. Cell proliferation significantly increased when both treatments were performed, indicating that surface treatments are necessary for SC response. It was also demonstrated that cell morphology was influenced by physico-chemical surface properties. PCL can be used to make artificial conduits and chemical modification of the inner lumen improves biocompatibility Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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ABSTRACT: The gold standard in surgical management of a peripheral nerve gap is currently autologous nerve grafting. This confers patient morbidity and increases surgical time therefore innovative experimental strategies towards engineering a synthetic nerve conduit are welcome. We have developed a novel synthetic conduit made of poly ɛ-caprolactone (PCL) that has demonstrated promising peripheral nerve regeneration in short-term studies. This material has been engineered to permit translation into clinical practice and here we demonstrate that histological outcomes in a long-term in vivo experiment are comparable with that of autologous nerve grafting. A 1cm nerve gap in a rat sciatic nerve injury model was repaired with a PCL nerve conduit or an autologous nerve graft. At 18 weeks post surgical repair, there was a similar volume of regenerating axons within the nerve autograft and PCL conduit repair groups, and similar numbers of myelinated axons in the distal stump of both groups. Furthermore, there was evidence of comparable re-innervation of end organ muscle and skin with the only significant difference the lower wet weight of the muscle from the PCL conduit nerve repair group. This study stimulates further work on the potential use of this synthetic biodegradable PCL nerve conduit in a clinical setting.Neuroscience Letters 04/2013; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The polymeric niche encountered by cells during primary culturing can affect cell fate. However, most cell types are primarily propagated on polystyrene (PS). A cell type specific screening for optimal primary culture polymers particularly for regenerative approaches seems inevitable. The effect of physical and chemical properties of treated (corona, oxygen/nitrogen plasma) and untreated cyclic olefin polymer (COP), polymethymethacrylate (PMMA), PP, PLA, PS, PC on neuronal stem cell characteristics was analyzed. Our comprehensive approach revealed plasma treated COP and PMMA as optimal polymers for primary neuronal stem cell culturing and propagation. An increase in the number of NT2/D1 cells with pronounced adhesion, metabolic activities and augmented expression of neural precursor markers was associated to the plasma treatment of surfaces of COP and PMMA with nitrogen or oxygen, respectively. A shift towards large cell sizes at stable surface area/volume ratios that might promote the observed increase in metabolic activities and distinct modulations in F-actin arrangements seem to be primarily mediated by the plasma treatment of surfaces. These results indicate that the polymeric niche has a distinct impact on various cell characteristics. The selection of distinct polymers and the controlled design of an optimized polymer microenvironment might thereby be an effective tool to promote essential cell characteristics for subsequent approaches.Journal of Materials Science Materials in Medicine 02/2014; · 2.14 Impact Factor