, Volume 18, Issue 10, pp 1991-2001
Date: 07 Jun 2007

Assessment of cell viability in a three-dimensional enzymatically cross-linked collagen scaffold

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Abstract

Microbial transglutaminase (mTGase) is an enzyme that introduces a covalent bond between peptide bound glutamine and lysine residues. Proteins cross-linked in this manner are often more resistant to proteolytic degradation and show increased tensile strength. This study evaluates the effects of mTGase mediated cross-linking of collagen on the cellular morphology, behaviour and viability of murine 3T3 fibroblasts following their seeding into collagen scaffolds. Additionally, cell mediated scaffold contraction, porosity and level of cross-linking of the scaffold has been analysed using image analysis software, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), colorimetric assays, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). We demonstrate that the biocompatibility and cellular morphology, when comparing cultures of fibroblasts integrated in mTGase cross-linked collagen scaffolds with the native collagen counterparts, remained unaffected. It has been also elicited that the structural characteristics of collagen have been preserved while introducing enzymatically resistant covalent bonds.

This work was performed in the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, Orbsen Building, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.