Collagen I-Matrigel Scaffolds for Enhanced Schwann Cell Survival and Control of Three-Dimensional Cell Morphology

Daniel D. Dewitt, Stephanie N. Kaszuba, Deanna M. Thompson, Jan P. Stegemann
2009 Tissue Engineering. Part A  
We report on the ability to control three-dimensional Schwann cell (SC) morphology using collagen I-Matrigel composite scaffolds for neural engineering applications. SCs are supportive of nerve regeneration after injury, and it has recently been reported that SCs embedded in collagen I, a material frequently used in guidance channel studies, do not readily extend processes, instead adopting a spherical morphology indicative of little interaction with the matrix. We have modified collagen I
more » ... ied collagen I matrices by adding Matrigel to make them more supportive of SCs and characterized these matrices and SC morphology in vitro. Incorporation of 10%, 20%, 35%, and 50% Matrigel by volume resulted in 2.4, 3.5, 3.7, and 4.2 times longer average SC process length after 14 days in culture than with collagen I-only controls. Additionally, only 35% and 50% Matrigel constructs were able to maintain SC number over 14 days, whereas an 88% decrease in cells from initial seeding density was observed in collagen-only constructs over the same time period. Mechanical testing revealed that the addition of 50% Matrigel increased matrix stiffness from 6.4 kPa in collagen I-only constructs to 9.8 kPa. Furthermore, second harmonic generation imaging showed that the addition of Matrigel resulted in non-uniform distribution of collagen I, and scanning electron microscope imaging illustrated distinct differences in the fibrillar structure of the different constructs. Collectively, this work lays a foundation for developing scaffolding materials that are concurrently supportive of neurons and SCs for future neural engineering applications.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2008.0406 pmid:19231925 fatcat:exfu6d5k7fbjha4l5jbdwfrteu