Endothelial cell colonization and angiogenic potential of combined nano- and micro-fibrous scaffolds for bone tissue engineering

Santos M. I. , Tuzlakoglu K., Fuchs S., Gomes M. E. , Peters K., Unger R. E. , ...More

BIOMATERIALS, vol.29, no.32, pp.4306-4313, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 32
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.07.033
  • Title of Journal : BIOMATERIALS
  • Page Numbers: pp.4306-4313


Presently the majority of tissue engineering approaches aimed at regenerating bone relies only on post-implantation vascularization. Strategies that include seeding endothelial cells (ECs) on biomaterials and promoting their adhesion, migration and functionality might be a solution for the formation of vascularized bone. Nano/micro-fiber-combined scaffolds have an innovative structure, inspired by extracellular matrix (ECM) that combines a nano-network, aimed to promote cell adhesion, with a micro-fiber mesh that provides the mechanical support. In this work we addressed the influence of this nano-network on growth pattern, morphology, inflammatory expression profile, expression of structural proteins, homotypic interactions and angiogenic potential of human EC cultured on a scaffold made of a blend of starch and poly(caprolactone). The nano-network allowed cells to span between individual micro-fibers and influenced cell morphology. Furthermore, on nano-fibers as well as on micro-fibers ECs maintained the physiological expression pattern of the structural protein vimentin and PECAM-1 between adjacent cells. In addition, ECs growing on the nano/micro-fiber-combined scaffold were sensitive to pro-inflammatory stimulus. Under pro-angiogenic conditions in vitro, the ECM-like nano-network provided the structural and organizational stability for ECs' migration and organization into capillary-like structures. The architecture of nano/micro-fiber-combined scaffolds elicited and guided the 3D distribution of ECs without compromising the structural requirements for bone regeneration. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.