Micro-engineered substrates as bone extracellular matrix mimics

Authors: Bilem, Ibrahim
Advisor: Laroche, Gaétan
Abstract: It is becoming increasingly appreciated that the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) extends beyond acting as scaffolds to providing biochemical and biophysical cues, which are critically important in regulating stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. To date, more than 15 different extrinsic (environmental) factors, including the matrix spatial organization, topography, stiffness, porosity, biodegradability and chemistry have been identified as potent regulators of stem cells specification into lineage-specific progenies. Thus, it is plausible that the behavior of biomaterials inside the human body will depend to a large extent on their ability to mimic ECM properties of the tissue to be replaced. Recently, nano- and microengineering methods have emerged as an innovative tool to dissect the individual role of ECM features and understand how each element regulates stem cell fate. In addition, such tools are believed to be useful in reconstructing complex tissue-like structures resembling the native ECM to better predict and control cellular functions. In the thesis project presented here, the concept of deconstructing and reconstructing the ECM complexity was applied to reproduce several aspects inherent to the bone ECM and harness their individual or combinatorial effect on directing human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) differentiation towards the osteoblastic lineage. Three main components were used throughout this project: a model material (borosilicate glass), ECM derived peptides (adhesive RGD and osteoinductive BMP-2 mimetic peptides) and bone marrow derived hMSCs. All cell differentiation experiments were performed in the absence of soluble osteogenic factors in the medium in order to precisely assess the interplay between hMSCs and the different artificial matrices developed in the current study. First, RGD and/or BMP-2 peptides were covalently immobilized and randomly distributed on glass surfaces. The objective here was to investigate the effect of each peptide as well as their combination on regulating hMSCs osteogenic differentiation. The most important funding was that RGD and BMP-2 peptides can act synergistically to enhance hMSCs osteogenesis. Then, micropatterning technique (photolithography) was introduced to control the spatial distribution of RGD and BMP-2 at the micrometer scale. The peptides were grafted individually onto glass substrates, as specific micropatterns of varied shapes (triangular, square and rectangle geometries) but constant size (50 μm² per pattern). In this second part of the project, the focus was made on investigating the role of ligands presentation in a spatially controlled manner in directing hMSCs differentiation into osteoblasts. Herein, we demonstrated that the effect of microscale geometric cues on stem cell differentiation is peptide dependent. Finally, glass surfaces modified with combined and spatially distributed peptides were used as in vitro cell culture models to evaluate the interplay between RGD/BMP-2 crosstalk and microscale geometric cues in regulating stem cell fate. In this study, we revealed that the combination of several ECM cues (ligand crosstalk and geometric cues), instead of the action of individual cues further enhances hMSCs osteogenesis. Overall, our findings provide new insights into the role of single ECM features as well their cooperation in regulating hMSCs fate. Such studies would allow the reconstruction of stem cell microenvironment in all the aspects ex vivo, which may pave the way towards the development of clinically relevant tissue-engineered constructs. Keywords: Chemical micropatterning, bioactive surfaces, mimetic peptides, BMP-2, mesenchymal stem cells, stem-cell differentiation, stem-cell niche, osteogenesis.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/27329
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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