TGF-B1 activation in human hamstring cells through growth factor binding peptides on polycaprolactone surfaces

João Francisco Ribeiro Pereira Simões Crispim, H.A.M. Fernandes, S.C. Fu, Y.W. Lee, Pascal Jonkheijm, Daniël B.F. Saris

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31 Citations (Scopus)
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The administration of soluble growth factors (GFs) to injured tendons and ligaments (T/L) is known to promote and enhance the healing process. However, the administration of GFs is a complex, expensive and heavily-regulated process and only achieved by employing supraphysiological GF concentrations. In addition, for proper healing, specific and spatial immobilization of the GFs (s) is critical. We hypothesized that biomaterials functionalized with GF-binding peptides can be employed to capture endogenous GFs in a spatially-controlled manner, thus overcoming the need for the exogenous administration of supraphysiological doses of GFs. Here we demonstrate that the modification of films of polycaprolactone (PCL) with transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-binding peptides allows GFs to be captured and presented to the target cells. Moreover, using a TGF-β reporter cell line and immunocytochemistry, we show that the GFs retained their biological activity. In human primary tendon cells, the immobilized TGF-β1 activated TGF-β target genes ultimately lead to a 2.5-fold increase in total collagen matrix production. In vivo implantation in rats clearly shows an accumulation of TGF-β1 on the polymer films functionalized with the TGF-β1-binding peptide when compared with the native films. This accumulation leads to an increase in the recruitment of inflammatory cells at day 3 and an increase in the fibrogenic response and vascularization around the implant at day 7. The results herein presented will endow current and future medical devices with novel biological properties and by doing so will accelerate T/L healing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-178
JournalActa biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017


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