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Acta Biomater. 2019 Apr 1;88:224-240. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.02.017. Epub 2019 Feb 14.

Oxidized alginate hydrogels with the GHK peptide enhance cord blood mesenchymal stem cell osteogenesis: A paradigm for metabolomics-based evaluation of biomaterial design.

Author information

1
Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology, Imperial College London, London, UK.
2
Institute of Biomaterials, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.
3
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Northwick Park Hospital, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.
4
Academic Orthopaedic Unit, Aristotle University Medical School, Thessaloniki, Greece.
5
Department of Hematology, Imperial College London, London, UK; Winship Cancer Institute, Department of Hematology & Medical Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology, Imperial College London, London, UK. Electronic address: sakis.mantalaris@gatech.edu.

Abstract

Oxidized alginate hydrogels are appealing alternatives to natural alginate due to their favourable biodegradability profiles and capacity to self-crosslink with amine containing molecules facilitating functionalization with extracellular matrix cues, which enable modulation of stem cell fate, achieve highly viable 3-D cultures, and promote cell growth. Stem cell metabolism is at the core of cellular fate (proliferation, differentiation, death) and metabolomics provides global metabolic signatures representative of cellular status, being able to accurately identify the quality of stem cell differentiation. Herein, umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells (UCB MSCs) were encapsulated in novel oxidized alginate hydrogels functionalized with the glycine-histidine-lysine (GHK) peptide and differentiated towards the osteoblastic lineage. The ADA-GHK hydrogels significantly improved osteogenic differentiation compared to gelatin-containing control hydrogels, as demonstrated by gene expression, alkaline phosphatase activity and bone extracellular matrix deposition. Metabolomics revealed the high degree of metabolic heterogeneity in the gelatin-containing control hydrogels, captured the enhanced osteogenic differentiation in the ADA-GHK hydrogels, confirmed the similar metabolism between differentiated cells and primary osteoblasts, and elucidated the metabolic mechanism responsible for the function of GHK. Our results suggest a novel paradigm for metabolomics-guided biomaterial design and robust stem cell bioprocessing. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Producing high quality engineered bone grafts is important for the treatment of critical sized bone defects. Robust and sensitive techniques are required for quality assessment of tissue-engineered constructs, which result to the selection of optimal biomaterials for bone graft development. Herein, we present a new use of metabolomics signatures in guiding the development of novel oxidised alginate-based hydrogels with umbilical cord blood mesenchymal stem cells and the glycine-histidine-lysine peptide, demonstrating that GHK induces stem cell osteogenic differentiation. Metabolomics signatures captured the enhanced osteogenesis in GHK hydrogels, confirmed the metabolic similarity between differentiated cells and primary osteoblasts, and elucidated the metabolic mechanism responsible for the function of GHK. In conclusion, our results suggest a new paradigm of metabolomics-driven design of biomaterials.

KEYWORDS:

GHK; Hydrogels; Mesenchymal stem cells; Metabolism; Metabolomics; Osteogenic differentiation

PMID:
30772514
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2019.02.017
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