Article

Elucidating the mechanobiology of malignant brain tumors using a brain matrix-mimetic hyaluronic acid hydrogel platform

Department of Bioengineering and California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Biomaterials (Impact Factor: 8.31). 11/2011; 32(31):7913-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.07.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a malignant brain tumor characterized by diffuse infiltration of single cells into the brain parenchyma, which is a process that relies in part on aberrant biochemical and biophysical interactions between tumor cells and the brain extracellular matrix (ECM). A major obstacle to understanding ECM regulation of GBM invasion is the absence of model matrix systems that recapitulate the distinct composition and physical structure of brain ECM while allowing independent control of adhesive ligand density, mechanics, and microstructure. To address this need, we synthesized brain-mimetic ECMs based on hyaluronic acid (HA) with a range of stiffnesses that encompasses normal and tumorigenic brain tissue and functionalized these materials with short Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides to facilitate cell adhesion. Scanning electron micrographs of the hydrogels revealed a dense, sheet-like microstructure with apparent nanoscale porosity similar to brain extracellular space. On flat hydrogel substrates, glioma cell spreading area and actin stress fiber assembly increased strongly with increasing density of RGD peptide. Increasing HA stiffness under constant RGD density produced similar trends and increased the speed of random motility. In a three-dimensional (3D) spheroid paradigm, glioma cells invaded HA hydrogels with morphological patterns distinct from those observed on flat surfaces or in 3D collagen-based ECMs but highly reminiscent of those seen in brain slices. This material system represents a brain-mimetic model ECM with tunable ligand density and stiffness amenable to investigations of the mechanobiological regulation of brain tumor progression.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Badriprasad Ananthanarayanan, Apr 04, 2014
2 Followers
 · 
199 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bioactive and biodegradable hydrogels that mimic the extracellular matrix and regulate valve interstitial cells (VIC) behavior are of great interest as three dimensional (3D) model systems for understanding mechanisms of valvular heart disease pathogenesis in vitro and the basis for regenerative templates for tissue engineering. However, the role of stiffness and adhesivity of hydrogels in VIC behavior remains poorly understood. This study reports synthesis of oxidized and methacrylated hyaluronic acid (Me-HA and MOHA) and subsequent development of hybrid hydrogels based on modified HA and methacrylated gelatin (Me-Gel) for VIC encapsulation. The mechanical stiffness and swelling ratio of the hydrogels were tunable with molecular weight of HA and concentration/composition of precursor solution. The encapsulated VIC in pure HA hydrogels with lower mechanical stiffness showed more spreading morphology comparing to stiffer counterparts and dramatically upregulated alpha smooth muscle actin expression indicating more activated myofibroblast properties. The addition of Me-Gel in Me-HA facilitated cell spreading, proliferation and VIC migration from encapsulated spheroids and better maintained VIC fibroblastic phenotype. The VIC phenotype transition during migration from encapsulated spheroids in both Me-HA and Me-HA/Me-Gel hydrogel matrix was also observed. These findings are important for the rational design of hydrogels for controlling VIC morphology, and for regulating VIC phenotype and function. The Me-HA/Me-Gel hybrid hydrogels accommodated with VIC are promising as valve tissue engineering scaffolds and 3D model for understanding valvular pathobiology.
    Acta biomaterialia 05/2013; 9(8). DOI:10.1016/j.actbio.2013.04.050 · 5.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many cells express a membrane-coupled external mechanical layer, the pericellular matrix (PCM), which often contains long-chain polymers. Its role and properties are not entirely known, but its functions are believed to include physical protection, mechanosensing, chemical signalling or lubrication. The viscoelastic response of the PCM, with polysaccharides as the main structural components, is therefore crucial for the understanding of its function. We have here applied microrheology, based on optically trapped micrometre-sized colloids, to the PCM of cultured PC3 prostate cancer cells. This technology allowed us to measure the extremely soft response of the PCM, with approximately 1 µm height resolution. Exogenously added aggrecan, a hyaluronan-binding proteoglycan, caused a remarkable increase in thickness of the viscoelastic layer and also triggered filopodia-like protrusions. The viscoelastic response of the PCM, however, did not change significantly.
    Journal of The Royal Society Interface 02/2012; 9(73):1733-44. DOI:10.1098/rsif.2011.0825 · 3.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Physical features of microenvironments such as matrix elasticity E can clearly influence cell morphology and cell phenotype, but many differences between model matrices raise questions as to whether a standard biological scale for E exists, especially in 3D as well as in 2D. An E-series of two distinct types of hydrogels are ligand-functionalized here with non-fibrous collagen and used to elucidate wide-ranging cell and cytoskeletal responses to E in both 2D and 3D matrix geometries. Cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA) based matrices as well as standard polyacrylamide (PA) hydrogels show that, within hours of initial plating, the adhesion, asymmetric shape, and cytoskeletal order within mesenchymal stem cells generally depend on E nonmonotonically over a broad range of physiologically relevant E. In particular, with overlays of a second matrix the stiffer of the upper or lower matrix dominates key cell responses to 3D: the cell invariably takes an elongated shape that couples to E in driving cytoplasmic stress fiber assembly. In contrast, embedding cells in homogeneous HA matrices constrains cells to spherically symmetric shapes in which E drives the assembly of a predominantly cortical cytoskeleton. Non-muscle myosin II generates the forces required for key cell responses and is a target of a phospho-Tyrosine signaling pathway that likely regulates contractile assemblies and also depends nonmonotonically on E. The results can be understood in part from a theory for stress fiber polarization that couples to matrix elasticity as well as cell shape and accurately predicts cytoskeletal order in 2D and 3D, regardless of polymer system.
    Integrative Biology 02/2012; 4(4):422-30. DOI:10.1039/c2ib00150k · 4.00 Impact Factor