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      Microwave-assisted Functionalization of Poly(ethylene glycol) and On-resin Peptides for Use in Chain Polymerizations and Hydrogel Formation

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          Abstract

          One of the main benefits to using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) macromers in hydrogel formation is synthetic versatility. The ability to draw from a large variety of PEG molecular weights and configurations (arm number, arm length, and branching pattern) affords researchers tight control over resulting hydrogel structures and properties, including Young’s modulus and mesh size. This video will illustrate a rapid, efficient, solvent-free, microwave-assisted method to methacrylate PEG precursors into poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate (PEGDM). This synthetic method provides much-needed starting materials for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. The demonstrated method is superior to traditional methacrylation methods as it is significantly faster and simpler, as well as more economical and environmentally friendly, using smaller amounts of reagents and solvents. We will also demonstrate an adaptation of this technique for on-resin methacrylamide functionalization of peptides. This on-resin method allows the N-terminus of peptides to be functionalized with methacrylamide groups prior to deprotection and cleavage from resin. This allows for selective addition of methacrylamide groups to the N-termini of the peptides while amino acids with reactive side groups ( e.g. primary amine of lysine, primary alcohol of serine, secondary alcohols of threonine, and phenol of tyrosine) remain protected, preventing functionalization at multiple sites. This article will detail common analytical methods (proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy ( ;H-NMR) and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-ToF)) to assess the efficiency of the functionalizations. Common pitfalls and suggested troubleshooting methods will be addressed, as will modifications of the technique which can be used to further tune macromer functionality and resulting hydrogel physical and chemical properties. Use of synthesized products for the formation of hydrogels for drug delivery and cell-material interaction studies will be demonstrated, with particular attention paid to modifying hydrogel composition to affect mesh size, controlling hydrogel stiffness and drug release.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification.

          Microenvironments appear important in stem cell lineage specification but can be difficult to adequately characterize or control with soft tissues. Naive mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are shown here to specify lineage and commit to phenotypes with extreme sensitivity to tissue-level elasticity. Soft matrices that mimic brain are neurogenic, stiffer matrices that mimic muscle are myogenic, and comparatively rigid matrices that mimic collagenous bone prove osteogenic. During the initial week in culture, reprogramming of these lineages is possible with addition of soluble induction factors, but after several weeks in culture, the cells commit to the lineage specified by matrix elasticity, consistent with the elasticity-insensitive commitment of differentiated cell types. Inhibition of nonmuscle myosin II blocks all elasticity-directed lineage specification-without strongly perturbing many other aspects of cell function and shape. The results have significant implications for understanding physical effects of the in vivo microenvironment and also for therapeutic uses of stem cells.
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            Synthetic biomaterials as instructive extracellular microenvironments for morphogenesis in tissue engineering.

            New generations of synthetic biomaterials are being developed at a rapid pace for use as three-dimensional extracellular microenvironments to mimic the regulatory characteristics of natural extracellular matrices (ECMs) and ECM-bound growth factors, both for therapeutic applications and basic biological studies. Recent advances include nanofibrillar networks formed by self-assembly of small building blocks, artificial ECM networks from protein polymers or peptide-conjugated synthetic polymers that present bioactive ligands and respond to cell-secreted signals to enable proteolytic remodeling. These materials have already found application in differentiating stem cells into neurons, repairing bone and inducing angiogenesis. Although modern synthetic biomaterials represent oversimplified mimics of natural ECMs lacking the essential natural temporal and spatial complexity, a growing symbiosis of materials engineering and cell biology may ultimately result in synthetic materials that contain the necessary signals to recapitulate developmental processes in tissue- and organ-specific differentiation and morphogenesis.
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              Photoencapsulation of osteoblasts in injectable RGD-modified PEG hydrogels for bone tissue engineering.

              Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels were investigated as encapsulation matrices for osteoblasts to assess their applicability in promoting bone tissue engineering. Non-adhesive hydrogels were modified with adhesive Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide sequences to facilitate the adhesion, spreading, and, consequently, cytoskeletal organization of rat calvarial osteoblasts. When attached to hydrogel surfaces, the density and area of osteoblasts attached were dramatically different between modified and unmodified hydrogels. A concentration dependence of RGD groups was observed, with increased osteoblast attachment and spreading with higher RGD concentrations, and cytoskeleton organization was seen with only the highest peptide density. A majority of the osteoblasts survived the photoencapsulation process when gels were formed with 10% macromer, but a decrease in osteoblast viability of approximately 25% and 38% was seen after 1 day of in vitro culture when the macromer concentration was increased to 20 and 30wt%, respectively. There was no statistical difference in cell viability when peptides were added to the network. Finally, mineral deposits were seen in all hydrogels after 4 weeks of in vitro culture, but a significant increase in mineralization was observed upon introduction of adhesive peptides throughout the network.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester
                2Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Rochester
                3Center for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Rochester Medical Center
                Author notes

                Correspondence to: Danielle S. W. Benoit at benoit@ 123456bme.rochester.edu 585-273-2698

                Journal
                J Vis Exp
                J Vis Exp
                JoVE
                Journal of Visualized Experiments : JoVE
                MyJove Corporation
                1940-087X
                2013
                29 October 2013
                29 October 2013
                : 80
                24193366 3968890 50890 10.3791/50890
                Copyright © 2013, Journal of Visualized Experiments

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Chemistry

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