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Publication Detail
O2diffusion through collagen scaffolds at defined densities: Implications for cell survival and angiogenic signalling in tissue models
The success of any biomaterial for tissue engineering is dominated by its mechanical properties and ability to support nutrient diffusion. Collagen scaffolds are ideal candidates due to their ability to immerse cells in a biomimetic nano-fibrous matrix. We have established O 2 diffusion coefficients through native, dense collagen scaffolds at two tissue-like densities, with and without photo-chemical crosslinking, by adapting an optical fibre-based system for real-time core O 2 monitoring deep within collagen constructs. The high diffusion coefficients of these collagen scaffolds, as well as their material properties, render them viable tissue engineering matrices for tissue replacement. Due to this O 2 diffusion through cell-seeded collagen type I scaffolds, natural gradients of O 2 form and cells in different locations are subject to varying levels of O 2 . These gradients were controlled by varying cell density, as it was found that cell consumption of O 2 played a greater role compared to material diffusion in formation of such O 2 gradients. Potent angiogenic signaling molecules were upregulated at both the gene and protein level, particularly within the core of 3D scaffolds, where O 2 was low, but remained within physiological hypoxia. By incorporating phosphate-based dissolving glass fibres into collagen constructs, as they are produced, it was possible to introduce channels throughout the construct in a gradual manner. Where channeled architecture was introduced to the 3D constructs, thus delivery of sustained O 2 to all cells even within the core, this upregulation of angiogenic factors was abolished. We can now engineer collagen type I scaffolds with varying density, varying degrees of crosslinking and various architectural features to control delivery of O 2 to all cells embedded within the construct. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.
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