Author(s): Phillips JE, Burns KL, Le Doux JM, Guldberg RE, Garca AJ
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Abstract Interfacial zones between tissues provide specialized, transitional junctions central to normal tissue function. Regenerative medicine strategies focused on multiple cell types and/or bi/tri-layered scaffolds do not provide continuously graded interfaces, severely limiting the integration and biological performance of engineered tissue substitutes. Inspired by the bone-soft tissue interface, we describe a biomaterial-mediated gene transfer strategy for spatially regulated genetic modification and differentiation of primary dermal fibroblasts within tissue-engineered constructs. We demonstrate that zonal organization of osteoblastic and fibroblastic cellular phenotypes can be engineered by a simple, one-step seeding of fibroblasts onto scaffolds containing a spatial distribution of retrovirus encoding the osteogenic transcription factor Runx2/Cbfa1. Gradients of immobilized retrovirus, achieved via deposition of controlled poly(L-lysine) densities, resulted in spatial patterns of transcription factor expression, osteoblastic differentiation, and mineralized matrix deposition. Notably, this graded distribution of mineral deposition and mechanical properties was maintained when implanted in vivo in an ectopic site. Development of this facile and robust strategy is significant toward the regeneration of continuous interfacial zones that mimic the cellular and microstructural characteristics of native tissue.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research