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Tissue Eng. 2000 Feb;6(1):45-52.

Enhancing hepatocyte adhesion by pulsed plasma deposition and polyethylene glycol coupling.

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  • 1Joint Program in Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235, USA.


Decreased hepatocyte adhesion to polymeric constructs limits the function of tissue engineered hepatic assist devices. We grafted adhesion peptides (RGD and YIGSR) to polycaprolactone (PCL) and poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) in order to mimic the in vivo extracellular matrix and thus enhance hepatocyte adhesion. Peptide grafting was done by a novel technique in which polyethylene glycol (PEG)-adhesion peptide was linked to allyl-amine coated on the surface of PCL and PLLA by pulsed plasma deposition (PPD). Peptide grafting density, quantified by radio-iodinated tyrosine in YIGSR, was 158 fmol/cm(2) on PLLA and 425 fmol/cm(2) on PCL surfaces. The adhesion of hepatocytes was determined by plating 250,000 hepatocytes/well (test substrates were coated on 12 well plates) and quantifying the percentage of adhered cells after 6 h by MTT assay. Adhesion on PCL surfaces was significantly enhanced (p < 0.05) by both YIGSR (percentage of adhered cells = 53 +/- 7%) and RGD (53 +/- 12%) when compared to control surfaces (31 +/- 8%). Hepatocyte adhesion on PLLA was significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced on PLLA-PEG-RGD surfaces (76 +/- 14%) compared to control surfaces (42 +/- 19%) and more (68 +/- 25%) but not statistically significant (p = 0.15) on PLLA-PEG-YIGSR surfaces compared to control surfaces. These results indicate that hepatocyte adhesion to PCL and PLLA based polymeric surfaces can be enhanced by a novel adhesion peptide grafting technique using pulsed plasma deposition and PEG cross-linking.

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