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Amine functionalization of cholecyst-derived extracellular matrix with generation 1 PAMAM dendrimer.A method to functionalize cholecyst-derived extracellular matrix (CEM) with free amine groups was established in an attempt to improve its potential for tethering of bioactive molecules. CEM was incorporated with Generation-1 polyamidoamine (G1 PAMAM) dendrimer by using N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide cross-linking system. The nature of incorporation of PAMAM dendrimer was evaluated using shrink temperature measurements, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) assessment, ninhydrin assay, and swellability. The effects of PAMAM incorporation on mechanical and degradation properties of CEM were evaluated using a uniaxial mechanical test and collagenase degradation assay, respectively. Ninhydrin assay and FTIR assessment confirmed the presence of increasing free amine groups with increasing quantity of PAMAM in dendrimer-incorporated CEM (DENCEM) scaffolds. The amount of dendrimer used was found to be critical in controlling scaffold degradation, shrink temperature, and free amine content. Cell culture studies showed that fibroblasts seeded on DENCEM maintained their metabolic activity and ability to proliferate in vitro. In addition, fluorescence cell staining and scanning electron microscopy analysis of cell-seeded DENCEM showed preservation of normal fibroblast morphology and phenotype.
Scaffold with a natural mesh-like architecture: isolation, structural, and in vitro characterization.An intact extracellular matrix (ECM) with a mesh-like architecture has been identified in the peri-muscular sub-serosal connective tissue (PSCT) of cholecyst (gallbladder). The PSCT layer of cholecyst wall is isolated by mechanical delamination of other layers and decellularized with a treatment with peracetic acid and ethanol solution (PES) in water to obtain the final matrix, which is referred to as cholecyst-derived ECM (CEM). CEM is cross-linked with different concentrations of glutaraldehyde (GA) to demonstrate that the susceptibility of CEM to degradation can be controlled. Quantitative and qualitative macromolecular composition assessments revealed that collagen is the primary structural component of CEM. Elastin is also present. In addition, the ultra-structural studies on CEM reveal the presence of a three-dimensional fibrous mesh-like network structure with similar nanoscale architecture on both mucosal and serosal surfaces. In vitro cell culture studies show that CEM provides a supporting structure for the attachment and proliferation of murine fibroblasts (3T3) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). CEM is also shown to support the attachment and differentiation of rat adrenal pheochromocytoma cells (PC12).
Tailoring the properties of cholecyst-derived extracellular matrix using carbodiimide cross-linking.Modulation of properties of extracellular matrix (ECM) based scaffolds is key for their application in the clinical setting. In the present study, cross-linking was used as a tool for tailoring the properties of cholecyst-derived extracellular matrix (CEM). CEM was cross-linked with varying cross-linking concentrations of N,N-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl)-N'-ethyl carbodiimide (EDC) in the presence of N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS). Shrink temperature measurements and ATR-FT-IR spectra were used to determine the degree of cross-linking. The effect of cross-linking on degradation was tested using the collagenase assay. Uniaxial tensile properties and the ability to support fibroblasts were also evaluated as a function of cross-linking. Shrink temperature increased from 59 degrees C for non-cross-linked CEM to 78 degrees C for the highest EDC cross-linking concentration, while IR peak area ratios for the free -NH(2) group at 3290 cm(-1) to that of the amide I band at 1635 cm(-1) decreased with increasing EDC cross-linking concentration. Collagenase assay demonstrated that degradation rates for CEM can be tailored. EDC concentrations 0 to 0.0033 mmol/mg CEM were the cross-linking concentration range in which CEM showed varied susceptibility to collagenase degradation. Furthermore, cross-linking concentrations up to 0.1 mmol EDC/mg CEM did not have statistically significant effect on the uniaxial tensile strength, as well as morphology, viability and proliferation of fibroblasts on CEM. In conclusion, the degradation rates of CEM can be tailored using EDC-cross-linking, while maintaining the mechanical properties and the ability of CEM to support cells.