Research in Engineering and Aviation

The creation of electrospun nanofiber scaffolds from platelet-rich plasma

March 2011

Author(s): Sell, S.A., Wolfe, P.S., Simpson, D.G., Ericksen, J.J, and G.L. Bowlin

Poster presentation at the 15th Annual International Workshop on Tissue Engineering, Hilton Head, SC, March 16-19, 2011.


Control over the soluble signals that cells encounter in their local environment is a common theme in natural tissue formation, and also an emerging theme in functional tissue engineering strategies. This concept is particularly important in stem cell-based applications, in which local soluble signals can dictate cell fate decisions. Nature often achieves intricate control over local soluble signaling via specific, non-covalent interactions. Inspired by these natural interactions, we are interested in creating biomaterials that actively regulate soluble signaling. For example, our recent studies show that modular growth factor peptides can be designed to bind to natural and synthetic target materials. We have used this approach to generate hydroxyapatite-binding versions of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). These modular peptides have, in turn, been used to activate synthetic and natural bone grafts, including hydroxyapatite-coated titanium implants, bioresorbable interference screws, allogeneic bone grafts, and hydroxyapatite-based tissue engineering scaffolds. Results demonstrate that modular peptides enhance osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and improve new bone formation in orthotopic sites vivo. In addition, soluble endogenous growth factors can be regulated via molecular sequestering strategies. We have recently used soluble proteoglycan sequestering as a broad mechanism to regulate human mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in standard cell culture conditions. In summary, our recent studies show that tailored non-covalent interactions between growth factors and biomaterials may provide an adaptable mechanism to control growth factor signaling and, in turn, stem cell behavior and new tissue formation.