Adhesion of corneal epithelial cells to cell adhesion peptide modified pHEMA surfaces
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Epithelialization of a corneal implant is a desirable property. In this study we compared surface modification of poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (pHEMA) with the cell adhesion peptides RGDS and YIGSR. Various parameters in the tresyl chloride activation and modification reactions were considered in order to maximize surface coverage with the peptide including tresyl chloride reaction solvent. tresyl chloride reaction time, tresyl chloride concentration, peptide concentration, and peptide reaction pH. Surface chemistry and corneal epithelial cell adhesion to the modified surfaces were examined. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data suggested that while peptide modification had occurred, surface coverage with the peptide was incomplete. Acetone was found to result in a higher fraction of nitrogen and surface bound carboxyl groups compared to dioxane and ether. Furthermore, corneal epithelial cell adhesion to the surfaces for which acetone was used for the activation reaction was significantly greater. Statistical analysis of the various samples suggests that lower peptide concentrations and higher tresyl chloride reaction times result in better cell adhesion. Furthermore, modification with YIGSR resulted in higher surface concentrations and better cell adhesion than modification with RGDS. Little or no cell adhesion was noted on the unmodified pHEMA controls. Protein adsorption results suggest that the differences in cell adhesion cannot be attributed to differences in serum protein adsorption from the culture medium. We conclude that YIGSR modified surfaces have significant potential for further development in corneal applications.
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