Tethered basic fibroblast growth factor increases vascular cell proliferation
Scaffolds should direct and promote tissue formation of tissue-engineered constructs. To optimize tissue formation, we propose the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugated bioactive factors that can be covalently immobilized to PEG diacrylate hydrogel scaffolds. We have demonstrated that the growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), retains its activity following attachment to PEG and incorporation into photopolymerized hydrogel scaffolds. Tethered bFGF significantly increased SMC proliferation on RGDS-modified PEG diacrylate hydrogels. Covalently grafting bFGF to the hydrogel stimulated increased cell number exceeding that seen when the unmodified, soluble form of bFGF was used. Thus, incorporating tethered bFGF within scaffolds is a promising method for optimizing cell proliferation, an important aspect of tissue formation.
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