Engineering a growth factor embedded nanofiber matrix niche to promote vascularization for functional cardiac regeneration
The major loss of tissue extracellular matrix (ECM) after myocardial ischemia is a serious burden that gradually leads to heart failure. Due to lack of available treatment methods to restore the cardiac function, various research strategies have come up to treat the ischemic myocardium. However these have met with limited success due to the complexity of the cardiac tissue, which exhibits a nanofibrous collagenous matrix with spatio-temporal localization of a combination of growth factors. To mimic the topographical and chemical cues of the natural cardiac tissue, we have fabricated a growth factor embedded nanofibrous scaffold through electrospinning. In our previous work, we have reported a nanofibrous matrix made of PLCL and PEOz with an average diameter of 500 nm. The scaffold properties were specifically characterized in vitro for cardio-compatibility. In the present study, we have loaded dual growth factors VEGF and bFGF in the nanofiber matrix and investigated its suitability for cardiac tissue engineering. The encapsulation and release of dual growth factors from the matrix were studied using XPS and ELISA. Bioactivity of the loaded growth factors towards proliferation and migration of endothelial cells (HUVECs) was evaluated through MTS and Boyden chamber assays respectively. The efficiency of growth factors on the nanofibrous matrix to activate signaling molecules was studied in HUVECs through gene expression analysis. Preclinical evaluation of the growth factor embedded nanofibrous patch in a rabbit acute myocardial infarction (AMI) model was studied and cardiac function assessment was made through ECG and echocardiography. The evidence for angiogenesis in the patch secured regions was analyzed through histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Our results confirm the effectiveness of growth factor embedded nanofiber matrix in restoration of cardiac function after ischemia when compared to conventional patch material thereby exhibiting promise as a valuable therapeutic solution to treat ischemic disorders.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (361 K)Download as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Biomaterials - Volume 97, August 2016, Pages 176–195