Development of a Biomimetic Extracellular Matrix with Functions of Protein Sequestration and Cell Attachment Using Dual Aptamer-Functionalized Hydrogels

Lidya Abune, Kyungsene Lee, Yong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The extracellular matrix (ECM) has not only cell-binding sites for cell attachment but also protein-binding sites for molecular sequestration. Aptamers have high binding affinities and specificities against their target molecules. Thus, the purpose of this work was to develop dual aptamer-functionalized hydrogels for simultaneously recapitulating the two key features of the ECM in binding cells and sequestering proteins. We synthesized the hydrogels using free-radical polymerization in a freezing procedure. As the hydrogels were macroporous with pores of 40-50 μm, both cells and proteins could be loaded into the hydrogels after the synthesis. Importantly, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) aptamer improved VEGF sequestration and reduced the apparent diffusivity of VEGF by over 2 orders of magnitude, resultantly prolonging VEGF retention and release. The c-MET aptamer promoted the attachment of endothelial cells in the hydrogel network. When two aptamers were both incorporated into the hydrogel, they could produce synergistic effects on cell survival and growth. Thus, this work has successfully demonstrated the potential of developing biomimetic ECMs with two key functions of cell attachment and protein sequestration using dual aptamer-functionalized hydrogels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1289
Number of pages11
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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