Water-induced surface reorganization of bioscaffolds composed of an amphiphilic hyperbranched polymer


The ability to freely control the surface of bioscaffolds in a water environment is desirable to regulate cellular behaviors in vitro. Herein, we study the surface aggregation states of scaffold films composed of a multifunctional hyperbranched polymer (HBP) with perfluorohexylethyl, carboxy, and cyano groups that was prepared using a spin-coating method. Static contact angle measurements in conjunction with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that perfluorohexylethyl groups were segregated at the surface of the HBP film in air, and these findings were more remarkable for the film treated with thermal annealing. Once the HBP film contacted water, HBP chains reorganized at the surface to minimize the free energy, resulting in the formation of a relatively hydrophilic surface. This surface reorganization was discernably faster and more remarkable for the non-annealed HBP film than for the annealed film. As fundamental characteristics of a cellular scaffold, protein adsorption, in addition to the initial adhesion and proliferation of fibroblasts, was examined using microscopy. The amount of fibronectin adsorbed depended on the presence of thermal annealing during the scaffold preparation process. A relatively larger amount of fibronectin adsorbed to the non-annealed HBP film promoted the initial adhesion and subsequent proliferation of fibroblasts.

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We are grateful to Nissan Chemical Corp. for kindly providing HBP. This research was partially supported by a JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (Grant No. JP15H02183) (K.T.), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) (Grant No. JP18H02037) (H.M.), and Early-Career Scientists (Grant No. JP18K16990) (M.T.). We are also grateful for support from JST-Mirai Program (JPMJMI18A2) and CSTI Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies (ImPACT) Program (K.T.).

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Correspondence to Hisao Matsuno or Keiji Tanaka.

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Matsuno, H., Totani, M., Yamamoto, A. et al. Water-induced surface reorganization of bioscaffolds composed of an amphiphilic hyperbranched polymer. Polym J 51, 1045–1053 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41428-019-0212-5

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