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Journal ArticleDOI

Morphology and cellular-traction of fibroblasts on 2D silk-fibroin hydrogel substrates

01 May 2021-Soft Materials (Informa UK Limited)-pp 1-12
TL;DR: Results suggest that surface-stiffness of SF-hydrogel, rather than nature of surface-ligand, regulates both cellular morphology and cellular traction stresses.
Abstract: Development of clinically amenable bio-implants with silk-fibroin (SF) necessitates characterization of cellular-traction generated between cells and the substrate. However, studies on the biomecha...
Topics: Fibroin (61%), Self-healing hydrogels (51%)
References
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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Sep 2011-Nature Protocols
TL;DR: This protocol includes methods to extract silk from B. mori cocoons to fabricate hydrogels, tubes, sponges, composites, fibers, microspheres and thin films, used directly as biomaterials for implants, as scaffolding in tissue engineering and in vitro disease models, as well as for drug delivery.
Abstract: Silk fibroin, derived from Bombyx mori cocoons, is a widely used and studied protein polymer for biomaterial applications. Silk fibroin has remarkable mechanical properties when formed into different materials, demonstrates biocompatibility, has controllable degradation rates from hours to years and can be chemically modified to alter surface properties or to immobilize growth factors. A variety of aqueous or organic solvent-processing methods can be used to generate silk biomaterials for a range of applications. In this protocol, we include methods to extract silk from B. mori cocoons to fabricate hydrogels, tubes, sponges, composites, fibers, microspheres and thin films. These materials can be used directly as biomaterials for implants, as scaffolding in tissue engineering and in vitro disease models, as well as for drug delivery.

1,732 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jul 2012-Nature Materials
TL;DR: It is concluded that stem cells exert a mechanical force on collagen fibres and gauge the feedback to make cell-fate decisions, and are regulated by the elastic modulus of PAAm.
Abstract: To investigate how substrate properties influence stem-cell fate, we cultured single human epidermal stem cells on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and polyacrylamide (PAAm) hydrogel surfaces, 0.1 kPa-2.3 MPa in stiffness, with a covalently attached collagen coating. Cell spreading and differentiation were unaffected by polydimethylsiloxane stiffness. However, cells on polyacrylamide of low elastic modulus (0.5 kPa) could not form stable focal adhesions and differentiated as a result of decreased activation of the extracellular-signal-related kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling pathway. The differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells was also unaffected by PDMS stiffness but regulated by the elastic modulus of PAAm. Dextran penetration measurements indicated that polyacrylamide substrates of low elastic modulus were more porous than stiff substrates, suggesting that the collagen anchoring points would be further apart. We then changed collagen crosslink concentration and used hydrogel-nanoparticle substrates to vary anchoring distance at constant substrate stiffness. Lower collagen anchoring density resulted in increased differentiation. We conclude that stem cells exert a mechanical force on collagen fibres and gauge the feedback to make cell-fate decisions.

1,251 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Within a range of stiffness spanning that of soft tissues, fibroblasts tune their internal stiffness to match that of their substrate, and modulation of cellular stiffness by the rigidity of the environment may be a mechanism used to direct cell migration and wound repair.
Abstract: Many cell types alter their morphology and gene expression profile when grown on chemically equivalent surfaces with different rigidities. One expectation of this change in morphology and composition is that the cell's internal stiffness, governed by cytoskeletal assembly and production of internal stresses, will change as a function of substrate stiffness. Atomic force microscopy was used to measure the stiffness of fibroblasts grown on fibronectin-coated polyacrylamide gels of shear moduli varying between 500 and 40,000 Pa. Indentation measurements show that the cells' elastic moduli were equal to, or slightly lower than, those of their substrates for a range of soft gels and reached a saturating value at a substrate rigidity of 20 kPa. The amount of cross-linked F-actin sedimenting at low centrifugal force also increased with substrate stiffness. Together with enhanced actin polymerization and cross-linking, active contraction of the cytoskeleton can also modulate stiffness by exploiting the nonlinear elasticity of semiflexible biopolymer networks. These results suggest that within a range of stiffness spanning that of soft tissues, fibroblasts tune their internal stiffness to match that of their substrate, and modulation of cellular stiffness by the rigidity of the environment may be a mechanism used to direct cell migration and wound repair.

907 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
14 Feb 2007-Soft Matter
TL;DR: Biocompatible synthetic materials already have many applications, but combining chemical compatibility with physiologically appropriate mechanical properties will increase their potential for use both as implants and as substrates for tissue engineering.
Abstract: Most organs and biological tissues are soft viscoelastic materials with elastic moduli ranging from on the order of 100 Pa for the brain to 100 000 Pa for soft cartilage. Biocompatible synthetic materials already have many applications, but combining chemical compatibility with physiologically appropriate mechanical properties will increase their potential for use both as implants and as substrates for tissue engineering. Understanding and controlling mechanical properties, specifically softness, is important for appropriate physiological function in numerous contexts. The mechanical properties of the substrate on which, or within which, cells are placed can have as large an impact as chemical stimuli on cell morphology, differentiation, motility, and commitment to live or die.

775 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 May 2010-Development
TL;DR: Work based on the convergence of physics, engineering and biology that suggests that mechanical forces generated by living cells are as crucial as genes and chemical signals for the control of embryological development, morphogenesis and tissue patterning is reviewed.
Abstract: Many genes and molecules that drive tissue patterning during organogenesis and tissue regeneration have been discovered. Yet, we still lack a full understanding of how these chemical cues induce the formation of living tissues with their unique shapes and material properties. Here, we review work based on the convergence of physics, engineering and biology that suggests that mechanical forces generated by living cells are as crucial as genes and chemical signals for the control of embryological development, morphogenesis and tissue patterning.

720 citations