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Effects of Copper and Cross-Linking on the Extracellular Matrix of Tissue-Engineered Arteries

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Abstract:

In many cases, the mechanical strengths of tissue-engineered arteries do not match the mechanical strengths of native arteries. Ultimate arterial strength is primarily dictated by collagen in the extracellular matrix, but collagen in engineered arteries is not as dense, as organized, or as mature as collagen in native arteries. One step in the maturation process of collagen is the formation of hydroxylysyl pyridinoline (HP) cross-links between and within collagen molecules. HP cross-link formation, which is triggered by the copper-activated enzyme lysyl oxidase, greatly increases collagen fibril stability and enhances tissue strength. Increased cross-link formation, in addition to increased collagen production, may yield a stronger engineered tissue. In this article, the effect of increasing culture medium copper ion concentration on engineered arterial tissue composition and mechanics was investigated. Engineered vessels grown in low copper ion concentrations for the first 4 weeks of culture, followed by higher copper ion concentrations for the last 3 weeks of culture, had significantly elevated levels of cross-link formation compared to those grown in low copper ion concentrations. In contrast, vessels grown in high copper ion concentrations throughout culture failed to develop higher collagen cross-link densities than those grown in low copper ion concentrations. Although the additional cross-linking of collagen in engineered vessels may provide collagen fibril stability and resistance to proteolysis, it failed to enhance global tissue strength.

Keywords: Arteries; Collagen; Copper; Cross-links; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/000000005783982936

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA 2: Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA 3: Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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