alexa In vitro cell response to differences in poly-L-lactide crystallinity.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering

Author(s): Park A, Cima LG

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Abstract Many different processing techniques are currently being used to produce tissue regeneration devices from polyesters in the polylactide/polyglycolide family. While it is generally well recognized that processing techniques influence bulk mechanical and degradation properties of these materials, the effects on surface properties are relatively less well studied. We thus investigated the effects of processing conditions that are known to change bulk properties, but not composition, on the surface properties of poly-L-lactide (PLLA). Specifically, we investigated the role of bulk crystallinity of PLLA substrates on several physiochemical aspects of the surface and on the attachment, morphology, and differentiated function of cultured primary hepatocytes and growth of 3T3 fibroblasts. We fabricated smooth, clear PLLA films of 13-37\% crystallinity. Glancing angle X-ray diffraction indicated that low crystallinity films lacked order in the first 50 A of the surface while relatively high crystallinity films had detectable order in this range. In other aspects, the surfaces of all PLLA substrates appeared identical with XPS, SEM, and advancing contact angle analysis, but contact angle hysteresis was slightly greater for more crystalline films. Although the physicochemical properties of the surfaces appeared almost identical, we observed differences in cell behavior on less crystalline versus more crystalline films. Hepatocytes formed spheroids on all PLLA substrates, but spheroid formation was faster (24-48 H) on crystalline substrates. quantitative image analysis was used to assess the average cell area as a function of time in culture, and our data confirm previous reports that retention of differentiated function is inversely related to cell spreading where function was assessed by P-450 enzyme activity. In addition, the growth rate of 3T3 fibroblasts was lower on crystalline substrates than on amorphous substrates. An important conclusion from this work is that processing techniques that lead to seemingly inconsequential changes in bulk and surface properties of these polymers may influence biological response.
This article was published in J Biomed Mater Res and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering

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