Enhancing mechanical properties of tissue engineered constructs through increased crosslinking of extracellular matrix proteins
The effect of increased expression of lysyl oxidase (LO), an enzyme involved in crosslinking extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, on the mechanical integrity of ECM by virtually transfecting vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) with LO gene, was investigated. It was observed that the elastic modulus of gels seeded with LO-transfected cells increased by almost 2-folds as compared with mock-seeded gels. It was also observed that ultimate tensile strength increases by almost 2-folds. The results show that increased mechanical strength can be achieved by increased expression of lysyl oxidase by VSMCs.