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Aggrecan-Mimetic, Glycosaminoglycan-Containing Nanoparticles for Growth Factor Stabilization and Delivery

Place, Laura W., Sekyi, Maria, Kipper, Matt J.
Biomacromolecules 2014 v.15 no.2 pp. 680-689
biochemical pathways, bone marrow, extracellular space, fibroblast growth factor 2, glycosaminoglycans, models, nanoparticles, proteoglycans, stromal cells, tissue repair
The direct delivery of growth factors to sites of tissue healing is complicated by their relative instability. In many tissues, the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) side chains of proteoglycans like aggrecan stabilize growth factors in the pericellular and extracellular space, creating a local reservoir that can be accessed during a wound healing response. GAGs also regulate growth factor-receptor interactions at the cell surface. Here we report the development of nanoparticles for growth factor delivery that mimic the size, GAG composition, and growth factor binding and stabilization of aggrecan. The aggrecan-mimetic nanoparticles are easy to assemble, and their structure and composition can be readily tuned to alter their physical and biological properties. We use basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) as a model heparin-binding growth factor, demonstrating that aggrecan-mimetic nanoparticles can preserve its activity for more than three weeks. We evaluate FGF-2 activity by measuring both the proliferation and metabolic activity of bone marrow stromal cells to demonstrate that chondroitin sulfate-based aggrecan mimics are as effective as aggrecan, and heparin-based aggrecan mimics are superior to aggrecan as delivery vehicles for FGF-2.