Author(s): Miller ED, Li K, Kanade T, Weiss LE, Walker LM,
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Abstract We investigated how engineered gradients of exogenous growth factors, immobilized to an extracellular matrix material, influence collective guidance of stem cell populations over extended time (>1 day) and length (>1 mm) scales in vitro. Patterns of low-to-high, high-to-low, and uniform concentrations of heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor were inkjet printed at precise locations on fibrin substrates. Proliferation and migration responses of mesenchymal stem cells seeded at pattern origins were observed with time-lapse video microscopy and analyzed using both manual and automated computer vision-based cell tracking techniques. Based on results of established chemotaxis studies, we expected that the low-to-high gradient would most effectively direct cell guidance away from the cell source. All printed patterns, however, were found to direct net collective cell guidance with comparable responses. Our analysis revealed that collective "cell diffusion" down a cell-to-cell confinement gradient originating at the cell starting lines and not the net sum of directed individual cell migration up a growth factor concentration gradient is the principal driving force for directing mesenchymal stem cell population outgrowth from a cell source. These results suggest that simple uniform distributions of growth factors immobilized to an extracellular matrix material may be as effective in directing cell migration into a wound site as more complex patterns with concentration gradients. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Biomaterials
and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science