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Three-dimensional endothelial cell morphogenesis under controlled ion release from copper-doped phosphate glass.

Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society (2015-01-13)
Christoph Stähli, Mark James-Bhasin, Showan N Nazhat
ABSTRACT

Copper ions represent a promising angiogenic agent but are associated with cytotoxicity at elevated concentrations. Phosphate-based glasses (PGs) exhibit adjustable dissolution properties and allow for controlled ion release. This study examined the formation of capillary-like networks by SVEC4-10 endothelial cells (ECs) seeded in a three-dimensional (3D) type I collagen hydrogel matrix mixed with PG particles of the formulation 50P2O5-30CaO-(20-x)Na2O-xCuO (x=0 and 10 mol%). Copper and total phosphorus release decreased over time and was more sustained in the case of 10% CuO PG. Moreover, increasing the concentration of 10% CuO PG in collagen substantially delayed dissolution along with preferential release of copper. A 3D morphometric characterization method based on confocal laser scanning microscopy image stacks was developed in order to quantify EC network length, connectivity and branching. Network length was initially reduced in a concentration-dependent fashion by 10% CuO PG and, to a lesser extent, by 0% CuO PG, but reached values identical to the non-PG control by day 5 in culture. This reduction was attributed to a PG-mediated decrease in cell metabolic activity while cell proliferation as well as network connectivity and branching were independent of PG content. Gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-1 and -2 was up-regulated by PGs, indicating that MMPs did not play a critical role in network growth. The relationship between ion release and EC morphogenesis in 3D provided in this study is expected to contribute to an ultimately successful pro-angiogenic application of CuO-doped PGs.

MATERIALS
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