Incorporation of cell-adhesion peptides into collagen scaffolds promotes corneal epithelial stratification
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The objective of this study was to examine the effects of cell-adhesion peptides incorporated into collagen scaffolds on corneal epithelial cell stratification. Peptides (YIGSR, YIGSRIKVAV, IKVAVYIGSR and negative control YISGR) were first chemically attached to dendrimers. The peptide-modified dendrimers were then used as collagen cross-linkers. This permitted the incorporation of the peptides into the bulk structure of the collagen gels. The amount of peptide incorporated into the collagen gels was determined by 125I radiolabelling to be between 0.064 and 6.4 microg/mg collagen for YIGSR, and between 0.1187 to 11.87 microg/mg collagen for YIGSRIKVAV and IKVAVYIGSR. Corneal epithelial cell monolayers were grown on the surface of the collagen scaffolds and then exposed to conditions that promoted stratification as a stratified epithelial layer is desired in a tissue-engineered cornea. It was found that all of the incorporated peptides promoted stratification of the cells with the exception of the negative control YISGR. A synergistic effect of the combined sequences from laminin was observed, with the orientation of the peptide sequences having a great impact on the ability of the materials to promote cell stratification.
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