College of Pharmacy | Biopharmaceutical Sciences
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College of Engineering | Bioengineering | Chemical Engineering
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Biomaterials Projects

The following are examples of our biomaterials projects that have been published. We are currently pursuing these and other areas of related research. We consider our drug delivery research to be biomaterials research.
  1. Osteoblast-like cell attachment to and calcification of novel phosphonate-containing polymeric substrates
  2. Cellular Alignment by Grafted Adhesion Peptide Surface Density Gradients
  3. Improved cell adhesion and proliferation on synthetic phosphonic acid-containing hydrogels

Osteoblast-like cell attachment to and calcification of novel phosphonate-containing polymeric substrates
Gemeinhart, Bare, Haasch, and Gemeinhart [back to top]

Abstract: In an attempt to interact natural bone and bone cells with biomaterials and to begin to develop modular tissue engineering scaffolds, substrates containing phosphonate groups were identified to mimic mineral-protein and natural polymer-protein interactions. In this study, we investigated poly(vinyl phosphonic acid) copolymer integration with existing materials as a graft-copolymer surface modification. Phosphonate-containing copolymer-modified surfaces were created and shown to have varying phosphate content within different polymeric surfaces. As the phosphonate content in the monomer feed approached 30% vinyl phosphonic acid, increased osteoblast-like cell adhesion (3-8 fold increase in adhesion) and proliferation (2-10 fold increase in proliferation rate) was observed. Since surfaces modified with 30% vinyl phosphonic acid in the feed exhibited a maximal cell adhesion and proliferation (9.4x104 cells/cm2/day), it was hypothesized that this copolymer composition was optimal for protein-polymer interactions. Osteoblast-like cells formed confluent layers and were able to differentiate on all surfaces that contained vinyl phosphonic acid. Most importantly, cells interacting with these surfaces were able to significantly mineralize the surface. These results suggest that phosphonate-containing polymers can be used to integrate biomaterials with natural bone and could be used for tissue engineering applications.

Cellular Alignment by Grafted Adhesion Peptide Surface Density Gradients
Kang, Gemeinhart, and Gemeinhart
Abstract: The extracellular matrix and extracellular matrix-associated proteins play a major role in growth and differentiation of tissues and organs. To date, few methods have been developed that allow researchers to examine the affect of surface density gradients of adhesion molecules in a controlled manner. Fibroblasts cultured on surfaces with a surface density gradient of RGD peptide aligned parallel to the gradient while fibroblasts on constant density RGD surfaces spread but did not align as has been shown in numerous earlier studies. Not only did fibroblasts align on the gradient surfaces, but they also showed significantly greater elongation than on constant density peptide surfaces or on control surfaces. This type of method is easy to replicate and can be used by laboratories interested in investigating alignment of various cell types without mechanical force or other stimulation, and without cell-cell interaction or for investigation of affects of surface density gradients of molecules on cellular biochemistry and biophysics. This method also has potential applications for developing scaffolds for tissue engineering applications where cellular alignment is necessary.

Improved cell adhesion and proliferation on synthetic phosphonic acid-containing hydrogels
Tan, Gemeinhart, Ma, and Gemeinhart
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Abstract: Hydrogels with tissue-like mechanical properties are highly attractive scaffolds for tissue engineering. In this study, copolymers containing vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA) and acrylamide (AM) were tested for their swelling, protein uptake in serum supplemented medium, and cell adhesion and proliferation. The swelling of the gels in serum containing culture medium increased with increasing VPA content. The presence of VPA also increased protein uptake of gels in medium; gels polymerized with more than 50% of VPA absorbed as much as 100 g/cm2 of protein, twice the amount absorbed by gels made with only acrylamide. The adhesion and growth of three types of cells, NIH 3T3 fibroblast, osteoblast-like MG-63 and Saos-2, were significantly improved on the gels made with 50% or more VPA; the number of adherent Mg-63 cells increased 3 fold while the growth rate increased 4 fold. Similar results were obtained for Saos-2 and 3T3 cells. The adhesion and growth of the three cell types on gels with sufficient phosphonate content were at least comparable to, or even better than, that on commercially available tissue culture plates. These results suggest great potential of anionic gels in bone tissue engineering.
Input Richard A. Gemeinahrt: BPS, College of Pharmacy in Other
Designed and implemented by R. A. Gemeinhart, Ph.D. All rights researved. © 2001-2011 Last Modified: 10/20/2011
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