The effect of hydrogel charge density on cell attachment
The competitive growth patterns of osteoblasts and fibroblasts can determine if healthy bone or pathologic scar tissue is formed at a wound site. Cell interactions with various alloplastic biomaterials used for tissue-engineering applications is complex. Defined synthetic mediums are valuable for studying ionic and cell receptor–specific interactions. The objectives of this study were to determine if fibroblasts and osteoblasts differentially attached to HEMA and PEG hydrogels copolymerized with positive, negative, or neutral charge densities, or when grafted with specific integrin receptor RGD adhesion ligand. Cytoskeletal phenotypes were assessed with immunofluorescent microscopy and cell attachment assays. Osteoblast cell attachment to both HEMA and PEG hydrogels was significantly higher (P<0.01) as compared to fibroblast cells. Positively charged HEMA and PEG hydrogels supported the greatest cell attachment, followed by RGD grafted, negative, and neutral charge densities, respectively. Each of these conditions elicited nearly a two-fold increase in osteoblast cell attachment, as compared to fibroblasts. Cell attachment to serum-coated coverslips was used as the control. Immunofluorescent analysis showed that both cell types attached and spread better on the positively charged hydrogels. However, fibroblasts demonstrated less spreading as compared to osteoblasts. In conclusion, differences in hydrophilic properties differentially affect osteoblast and fibroblast cell attachment and spreading.
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 25, Issue 15, July 2004, Pages 3023–3028