In an in-situ approach towards tissue engineered cardiovascular replacement grafts, cell-free scaffolds are implanted that engage in endogenous tissue formation. Bioactive molecules can be incorporated into such grafts to facilitate cellular recruitment. Stromal cell derived factor 1α (SDF1α) is a powerful chemoattractant of lymphocytes, monocytes and progenitor cells and plays an important role in cellular signaling and tissue repair. Short SDF1α-peptides derived from its receptor-activating domain are capable of activating the SDF1α-specific receptor CXCR4. Here, we show that SDF1α-derived peptides can be chemically modified with a supramolecular four-fold hydrogen bonding ureido-pyrimidinone (UPy) moiety, that allows for the convenient incorporation of the UPy-SDF1α-derived peptides into a UPy-modified polymer scaffold. We hypothesized that a UPy-modified material bioactivated with these UPy-SDF1α-derived peptides can retain and stimulate circulating cells in an anti-inflammatory, pro-tissue formation signaling environment. First, the early recruitment of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells to the scaffolds was analyzed in vitro in a custom-made mesofluidic device applying physiological pulsatile fluid flow. Preferential adhesion of lymphocytes with reduced expression of inflammatory factors TNFα, MCP1 and lymphocyte activation marker CD25 was found in the bioactivated scaffolds, indicating a reduction in inflammatory signaling. As a proof of concept, in-vivo implantation of the bioactivated scaffolds as rat abdominal aorta interposition grafts showed increased cellularity by CD68+ cells after 7 days. These results indicate that a completely synthetic, cell-free biomaterial can attract and stimulate specific leukocyte populations through supramolecular incorporation of short bioactive SDF1α derived peptides.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2016|