Behavior of dermal fibroblasts on microdot arrays yields insight into wound healing mechanisms
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The behavior of fibroblasts on patterned substrates was examined in order to elucidate the role of dermal structure in wound healing. Dermal fibroblasts were cultured on micro-patterned silicone elastomer substrates designed to enforce cell adhesion only to fibronectin microdots. The morphology, expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), proliferation, apoptotic cells, and soluble collagen production of cells were measured. Cells grown on patterned substrates showed some signs of a scar-fibroblast phenotype such as: elongated pseudopodia, enhanced expression of alpha smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and increased collagen/pre-collagen, in comparison to unpatterned controls. Cells also showed low proliferation rates and high apoptotic index. The results showed that the microdot arrays, acting as a grid of limited focal adhesion sites, could force cells to adopt constrained morphologies and limited adhesion areas, which affect the cytoskeleton, ultimately leading to expression of a scar-tissue fibroblast phenotype. This study provides insight into the regulatory mechanisms of micro-topology on cell behavior in wound healing.
KeywordsMicropattern Scar formation Dermal structure Fibroblasts Micro-topology
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