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Musson D.S.,University of Auckland | Naot D.,University of Auckland | Chhana A.,University of Auckland | Matthews B.G.,University of Auckland | And 8 more authors.
Tissue Engineering - Part A | Year: 2015

Tearing of the rotator cuff tendon in the shoulder is a significant clinical problem, with large/full-thickness tears present in ∼22% of the general population and recurrent tear rates postarthroscopic repair being quoted as high as 94%. Tissue-engineered biomaterials are increasingly being investigated as a means to augment rotator cuff repairs, with the aim of inducing host cell responses to increase tendon tissue regeneration. Silk-derived materials are of particular interest due to the high availability, mechanical strength, and biocompatibility of silks. In this study, Spidrex®, a novel knitted, non-mulberry silk fibroin scaffold was evaluated in vitro for its potential to improve tendon regeneration. Spidrex was compared with a knitted Bombyx mori silk scaffold, a 3D collagen gel and Fiberwire® suture material. Primary human and rat tenocytes successfully adhered to Spidrex and significantly increased in number over a 14 day period (p<0.05), as demonstrated by fluorescent calcein-AM staining and alamarBlue® assays. A similar growth pattern was observed with human tenocytes cultured on the B. mori scaffold. Morphologically, human tenocytes elongated along the silk fibers of Spidrex, assuming a tenocytic cell shape, and were less circular with a higher aspect ratio compared with human tenocytes cultured on the B. mori silk scaffold and within the collagen gel (p<0.05). Gene expression analysis by real-time PCR showed that rat tenocytes cultured on Spidrex had increased expression of tenocyte-related genes such as fibromodullin, scleraxis, and tenomodulin (p<0.05). Expression of genes that indicate transdifferentiation toward a chondrocytic or osteoblastic lineage were significantly lower in tenocytes cultured on Spidrex in comparison to the collagen gel (p<0.05). Immunogenicity assessment by the maturation of and cytokine release from primary human dendritic cells demonstrated that Spidrex enhanced dendritic cell maturation in a similar manner to the clinically used suture material Fiberwire, and significantly upregulated the release of proinflammatory cytokines (p<0.05). This suggests that Spidrex may induce an early immune response postimplantation. While further work is required to determine what effect this immune response has on the tendon healing process, our in vitro data suggests that Spidrex may have the cytocompatibility and bioactivity required to support tendon regeneration in vivo. © 2015, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2015.

Ling S.,Fudan University | Qi Z.,Hefei University of Technology | Knight D.P.,Oxford Biomaterials Ltd | Shao Z.,Fudan University | Chen X.,Fudan University
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2011

Synchrotron FTIR (S-FTIR) microspectroscopy was used to monitor the silk protein conformation in a range of single natural silk fibers (domestic and wild silkworm and spider dragline silk). With the selection of suitable aperture size, we obtained high-resolution S-FTIR spectra capable of semiquantitative analysis of protein secondary structures. For the first time, we have determined from S-FTIR the β-sheet content in a range of natural single silk fibers, 28 ± 4, 23 ± 2, and 17 ± 4% in Bombyx mori, Antheraea pernyi, and Nephila edulis silks, respectively. The trend of β-sheet content in different silk fibers from the current study accords quite well with published data determined by XRD, Raman, and 13C NMR. Our results indicate that the S-FTIR microspectroscopy method has considerable potential for the study of single natural silk fibers. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Asakura T.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Okonogi M.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Horiguchi K.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Aoki A.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Two β-sheet arrangements: Polyalanines have been shown to adopt two different antiparallel crystal-packing arrangements, depending on the length of the polymers. Short polymers that contain six alanine residues or fewer adopt a rectangular packing arrangement, whereas longer polymers are packed in a staggered pattern (see scheme). The elucidation of these structures may help to explain the physical and biological properties of polyalanines. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Asakura T.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Suzuki Yu.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Nagano A.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Knight D.,Oxford Biomaterials Ltd | And 2 more authors.
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2013

The recombinant proteins [EE(A)12EETGRGDSPAAS]n (n = 5,10) were prepared as a potential scaffold material for bone repair. The construct was based on Antheraea perni silk fibroin to which cells adhere well and combined poly(alanine), the integrin binding site TGRGDSPA, and a pair of glutamic acids (E2) at both the N- and C-terminal sites to render the construct water-soluble and with the hope that it might enhance mineralization with hydroxyapatite. Initially, two peptides E2(A)nE 2TGRGDSPAE2(A)nE2 (n = 6, 12) were prepared by solid state synthesis to examine the effect of size on conformation and on cell binding. The larger peptide bound osteoblasts more readily and had a higher helix content than the smaller one. Titration of the side chain COO - to COOH of the E2 and D units in the peptide was monitored by solution NMR. On the basis of these results, we produced the related recombinant His tagged protein [EE(A)12EETGRGDSPAAS] n (n = 5,10) by expression in Escherichia coli. The solution NMR spectra of the recombinant protein indicated that the poly(alanine) regions are helical, and one E2 unit is helical and the other is a random coil. A molecular dynamics simulation of the protein supports these conclusions from NMR. We showed that the recombinant protein, especially, [EE(A) 12EETGRGDSPAAS]10 has some of the properties required for bone tissue engineering scaffold including insolubility, and evidence of enhanced cell binding through focal adhesions, and enhanced osteogenic expression of osteoblast-like cells bound to it, and has potential for use as a bone repair material. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Yan J.,Fudan University | Zhou G.,Fudan University | Knight D.P.,Oxford Biomaterials Ltd | Shao Z.,Fudan University | Chen X.,Fudan University
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2010

Regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) fibers were obtained by extruding a concentrated aqueous silk fibroin solution into an ammonium sulfate coagulation bath. A custom-made simplified industrial-type wet-spinning device with continuous mechanical postdraw was used. The effect of dope concentration, coagulation bath, extrusion rate, and postdraw treatment on the morphology of RSF fiber was examined. The results showed that although RSF fiber could be formed with dope concentration between 13 and 19% (w/w), the ones spun from 15% RSF solution showed the most regular morphology being dense and homogeneous in cross-section with a smooth surface and a uniform cylindrical shape. Though it had little effect on morphology, postdraw treatment especially under steam, significantly improved the mechanical properties of the RSF fibers. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

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