Endothelial, smooth muscle and fibroblast cell sheet fabrication from self-assembled thermoresponsive poly(glycidyl ether) brushes
Daniel David Stöbener, Anke Hoppensack, Johanna Scholz, Marie Weinhart – 2018
In this study, we introduce a platform to fabricate human dermal fibroblast (HDF), human aorticsmooth muscle cell (HAoSMC) and human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) sheets usingthermoresponsive poly(glycidyl ether) coatings. Copolymer brushes based on glycidyl methyl ether(GME) and ethyl glycidyl ether (EGE) were self-assembled onto polystyrene (PS) culture substratesviathe physical adsorption of a hydrophobic, photoreactive benzophenone anchor block based onthe monomer 4-[2-(2,3-epoxypropoxy)ethoxy]benzophenone (EEBP). The directed self-assembly ofwell-defined, end-tethered poly(GME-ran-EGE)-block-poly(EEBP) (PGE) brushes was achievedviatheselective, EEBP-driven adsorption of the asymmetric block copolymer from dilute aqueous solutionbelow its cloud point temperature (CPT). Subsequently, the PGE brush layers were covalentlyimmobilized onto the PS surfaces by irradiation with UV light and characterized by ellipsometry, staticwater contact angle (CA) measurements and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We found that, bydecreasing the temperature from 37 to 201C, the coatings undergo a pancake-to-brush transition,which triggers cell sheet detachment. In addition, cell culture parameters were optimized to allowproper adhesion and controlled detachment of confluent HDF, HAoSMC and HUVEC sheets, which canbe applied in vascular tissue engineering.