Adhesion behavior of peritoneal cells on the surface of self-assembled triblock copolymer hydrogels.

PMID 15530062


Adhesion behavior of cells to the surface of physical hydrogel membranes prepared by water-induced self-organization of precisely synthesized ABA-triblock copolymers comprised of poly(beta-benzyl L-aspartate) (PBLA) as A segment and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO, molecular weight = 20 000) as the B segment were investigated. The cast film from the methylenechloride solution of these copolymers swelled in water very rapidly forming hydrogels (100-400% water content of total weight). The content of PBLA affected the strength, the hydrophobicity, and the amount of water involved in the hydrogel surface. During the early stage of cultivation with murine peritoneal cells, cell adhesion on the hydrogels of PEO and PBLA with 18 (20K18) and 25 (20K25) monomeric units was not observed, while adhesion on the hydrogels of PEO and PBLA with 32 (20K32) and 55 (20K55) monomeric units was successful, suggesting more than 12 mol % in PBLA content is necessary for adhesion of these cells. Although cell spreading on the hydrogels of 20K18, 20K25, and 20K32 was not sufficient, the hydrogel of 20K55 allowed cell adhesion and spreading to be bipolar with leading edge whose raffling is active with pseudopodium and lamellipodium as well as PBLA homopolymer, suggesting active motility of these cells. Remarkably, prolonged incubation restored adhesiveness onto the films at 20K18 in contrast to adhesion with 20K25 despite low hydrophobicity. It is conceivable that adaptation of proteins and chemical changes to the surface during the culture period may participate in these phenomena. Mechanical properties and interaction between cell and these copolymer hydrogels could be controlled by composition of block segments, and optimization for implants could also be attainable.