Free standing layer-by-layer films of polyethyleneimine and poly(l-lysine) for potential use in corneal stroma engineering

Altay, Gizem
In this study we fabricated free standing multilayer films of polyelectrolyte complexes for potential use in tissue engineering of corneal stroma by using the layer-by-layer (LbL) approach. In the formation of these LbL films negatively charged, photocrosslinkable (methacrylated) hyaluronic acid (MA-HA) was used along with polycations polyethyleneimine (PEI) and poly(L-lysine) (PLL). Type I collagen (Col) was blended in with PLL for improving the water absorption and cell attachment properties of the films. It was shown that the LbL films could be easily peeled off from glass substrates due to the photocrosslinking of one of the LbL components, the hyaluronic acid. Film growth and composition were monitored with FTIR-ATR. Heights of peaks at 3383 cm-1, and 2958 cm-1increased along with the bilayer number confirming the polymer build-up. Film integrity and thickness were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Films thicker than 5 bilayers (BLs) were found to be uniform in appearance and 10 BL (PEI/MeHA) films were calculated to be ca. 6 μm thick. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed that as the number of BLs increased, surface roughness decreased. Activity of methacrylated hyaluronic acid was shown by the increased resistance of photocrosslinked multilayer films against hydrolysis by hyaluronidase. Patterns could be created on the films by photocrosslinking further proving that the crosslinking step is successful. Since the ultimate goal was to construct a corneal stroma PEI/MA-HA films were tested with corneal stroma cells, keratocytes. Cell proliferation on PEI/MA-HA films was quite poor in comparison to TCPS. In order to improve the cell adhesion the tests were repeated with PLL/MA-HA. Collagen was added to decrease the hydrophilicity and introduce cell adhesion sequences (Arg-Gly-Asp, RGD) to improve cell proliferation on the films and thus PLL+Col/MA-HA films were also tested. Introduction of collagen to the PLL/MA-HA films was found to decrease water retention of the multilayer films and improve cell viability and proliferation. Col+PLL/MA-HA LbL thus appear to be a promising platform for tissue engineering, especially of corneal stroma.


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Citation Formats
G. Altay, “Free standing layer-by-layer films of polyethyleneimine and poly(l-lysine) for potential use in corneal stroma engineering,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.