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Issue 10, 2013
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Fibrinogen nanofibers for guiding endothelial cell behavior

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This paper describes the biological consequences of presenting electrospun fibrinogen (FBG) to endothelial cells as a spatially organized nanofibrous matrix. Aligned and randomly oriented FBG nanofibers with an average diameter of less than 200 nm were obtained by electrospinning of native FBG solution. Electrophoretic profiling confirmed that the electrospun FBG resembled the native protein structure, and fluorescent tracing of FITC-labeled FBG showed that electrospun fibers withstood immersion in physiological solutions reasonably well for several days. With respect to cellular interactions, the nanofibrous FBG matrix provided better conditions for initial recognition by human umbilical vein endothelial cells compared to pre-adsorbed FBG on a flat surface. Furthermore, the spatial organization of electrospun FBG fibers presented opportunities for guiding the cellular behavior in a way that is not possible when the protein is presented in another form (e.g. adsorbed or soluble). For example, on aligned FBG fibers, cells rapidly oriented themselves along the fibers, and time-lapse recordings revealed pronounced cellular movements restricted to the fiber direction. In great contrast, on randomly deposited fibers, cells acquired a stellate-like morphology and became locally immobilized by the fibers. We also show that the FBG fiber orientation significantly influenced both the cytoskeleton organization in confluent cell layers and the orientation of the extracellular fibronectin matrix secreted by the cells. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that electrospun FBG nanofibers can be a promising tool for guiding endothelial cell behavior for tissue engineering applications.

Graphical abstract: Fibrinogen nanofibers for guiding endothelial cell behavior

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Article information

10 May 2013
17 Jun 2013
First published
08 Jul 2013

Biomater. Sci., 2013,1, 1065-1073
Article type

Fibrinogen nanofibers for guiding endothelial cell behavior

D. Gugutkov, J. Gustavsson, M. P. Ginebra and G. Altankov, Biomater. Sci., 2013, 1, 1065
DOI: 10.1039/C3BM60124B

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