PNAS Plus Significance Statements

2015 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  
Scaffolds that serve as synthetic mimics of the extracellular matrix have applications in wound healing, tissue engineering, and stem cell expansion. When cells are cultured in these tunable matrices, little is known about local microenvironmental changes during degradation and remodeling. Methods that provide quantitative and predictable information about cell-mediated remodeling could significantly improve the biomaterial design process. We use passive microrheology, a technique that measures
more » ... nique that measures rheological properties from Brownian motion of embedded particles, to characterize remodeling of a cell-laden peptide-functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogel that degrades in response to cell-secreted enzymes. Results show microenvironmental changes at multiple time and size scales, and reveal an interesting degradation gradient, as mesenchymal stem cells attach, spread, and move through these synthetic extracellular matrix mimics. (See pp.
doi:10.1073/pnas.ss11229 fatcat:lxaeklxi3jgnrjflwnelqtxfsu