Biomolecular localization: Applications in tissue engineering

William John Znidarsic, University of Pennsylvania


A carrier material designed for in vivo implantation of cells can be chemically modified to present ligands that interact with cell surface receptors and guide new tissue formation. This study presents a versatile technique for modification of alginate matrices that relies upon molecular coating of nanoparticle surfaces, using a layer-by-layer deposition technique, followed by dispersion of these particles with the alginate gel matrix. The deposition technique results in nanoparticle coatings that present a variety of biological information including organic molecules (e.g. amines, polyacrylic acid (PAA), phosphoproteins, collagen, albumin, and growth factors) and inorganic calcium phosphate (e.g. hydroxyapatite). Results show that incorporation of coated nanoparticles can stimulate cell proliferation when compared with incorporation of un-coated particles and/or free molecules. Because cells incorporated within the volume of the alginate matrix present cell surface receptors that are spatially distributed on the nano-scale, the observed stimulation in proliferation may be a result of changes in local concentration of molecules that are coated on the nanoparticles rather than added in "free form". In the repair of maxillofacial defects, alginate gels are used clinically for the delivery and localization of stem cells. Similar techniques for three-dimensional localization of biomolecules within these constructs may possibly prove beneficial in stimulating positive biological outcomes in vivo.

Subject Area

Materials science|Biomedical research|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Znidarsic, William John, "Biomolecular localization: Applications in tissue engineering" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3211169.