Engineering of extracellular matrix scaffolds via hollow fiber cell culture

Conference Dates

September 11-16, 2016


Extracellular matrix (ECM) tissue scaffolds are seeing increased use for clinical applications, as they significantly decrease the time course of healing for injured tissues; however, the use of animal-sourced matrix for these scaffolds introduces xenogeneic epitopes into the patient toward which deleterious immune responses are directed, decreasing the effectiveness of the scaffold. ECM scaffolds produced in vitro have potential to minimize the foreign body response, as ECM can be cultured using human cell lines and decellularized to produce an allogeneic scaffold with high biocompatibility. The primary challenge of producing ECM-based therapeutics in vitro is fabricating such material in a manner which approximates the composition and architecture of native matrix while maintaining high yield and ease-of-handling. In previous work, we have demonstrated that sacrificial open-cell foams can be used for the production of ECM scaffolds with properties approximating those of native tissues.1 Herein we demonstrate a novel approach for the production of continuous threads of extracellular matrix by statically culturing ECM-secreting fibroblasts in the lumina of mesoporous hollow fiber membranes (HFMs). This approach exploits the fact that mesoporous HFMs prevent cross-membrane transport of high molecular weight proteins produced by cells in their lumina, while allowing for diffusion of low molecular weight cell medium components.

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