Immobilization of osteoinductive molecules, including growth factors or peptides, on polymer scaffolds is critical for improving stem cell-mediated bone tissue engineering. Such molecules provide osteogenesis-stimulating signals for stem cells. Typical methods used for polymeric scaffold modification (e.g., chemical conjugation or physical adsorption), however, have limitations (e.g., multistep, complicated procedures, material denaturation, batch-to-batch inconsistency, and inadequate conjugation) that diminish the overall efficiency of the process. Therefore, in this study, we report a biologically inspired strategy to prepare functional polymer scaffolds that efficiently regulate the osteogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs). Polymerization of dopamine (DA), a repeated motif observed in mussel adhesive protein, under alkaline pH conditions, allows for coating of a polydopamine (pDA) layer onto polymer scaffolds. Our study demonstrates that predeposition of a pDA layer facilitates highly efficient, simple immobilization of peptides derived from osteogenic growth factor (bone morphogenetic protein-2; BMP-2) on poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffolds via catechol chemistry. The BMP-2 peptide-immobilized PLGA scaffolds greatly enhanced in vitro osteogenic differentiation and calcium mineralization of hADSCs using either osteogenic medium or nonosteogenic medium. Furthermore, transplantation of hADSCs using pDA-BMP-2-PLGA scaffolds significantly promoted in vivo bone formation in critical-sized calvarial bone defects. Therefore, pDA-mediated catechol functionalization would be a simple and effective method for developing tissue engineering scaffolds exhibiting enhanced osteoinductivity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that pDA-mediated surface modification of polymer scaffolds potentiates the regenerative capacity of human stem cells for healing tissue defect in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry