Design and Characterization of Maltose-Conjugated Polycaprolactone Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Uterine Tissue Engineering

Srividya Hanuman, Manasa Nune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Uterine anomalies are prevalent in women, and the major treatment assisted to them is hysterectomy as donor availability is extremely low. To overcome this, engineering uterine myometrium smooth muscle tissue has become very important. Several studies have shown that polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers are very effective in engineering smooth muscles, as this type of scaffold has structural similarities to the extracellular matrices of the cells. Here, we hypothesize that by electrospinning PCL nanofibers, they form a suitable scaffold for uterine tissue engineering. Methods: Polycaprolactone nanofibrous scaffolds were fabricated, and surface modification was performed following two step wet chemistry method. First step is aminolysis which introduces the primary amine groups on the PCL scaffolds following which maltose is conjugated on the scaffolds. This was confirmed by the ninhydrin assay for the presence of amine groups. This was followed by ELLA assay where the presence of maltose on the scaffold was quantified. Modified scaffolds were further characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), contact angle analysis and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). MTT assay, live-dead assay and actin staining were performed on the maltose immobilization to study the improvement of the cell attachment and proliferation rates on the modified scaffolds. Results: Human uterine fibroblast (HUF) cells displayed significant proliferation on the maltose-modified PCL scaffolds, and they also exhibited appropriate morphology indicating that these modified fibers are highly suitable for uterine cell growth. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the fabricated maltose PCL (MPCL) scaffolds would be a potential biomaterial to treat uterine injuries and promote regeneration. Lay Summary and Future Work: Uterine anomalies are prevalent in women, and the major treatment is hysterectomy as donor availability is extremely low. Over the past few years, considerable efforts have been directed towards uterine tissue regeneration. This study is to design a tissue engineered scaffold that could act as a human uterine myometrial patch. We propose to create uterine fibroblast-based synthetic scaffolds that act in a condition similar to the intrauterine microenvironment where the embryos are embedded in the uterine wall. For understanding of the efficiency of the myometrial patch, functional characterization will be performed to study the effects of estrogen and prostaglandins on myometrial activity of the designed patch. Results from these experiments will assist a deeper understanding of how to construct a total bioengineered uterus which can substitute the uterus transplantation procedure, which nonetheless is in its initial stages of development. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
JournalRegenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology

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