Macromolecular Crowding: The Next Frontier in Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering by self-assembly hypothesises that optimal repair and regeneration can be achieved best by using the cells’ inherent ability to create organs with proficiency still unmatched by currently available scaffold fabrication technologies. However, the prolonged culture time required to develop an implantable device jeopardises clinical translation and commercialisation of such techniques. Herein, we report that macromolecular crowding, a biophysical in vitro microenvironment modulator, dramatically accelerates extracellular matrix deposition in cultured human corneal, lung and dermal fibroblasts and human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. In fact, an almost 5 to 30 fold increase in collagen type I deposition was recorded as early as 48 hours in culture, without any negative effect in cell phenotype and function.
P. Kumar et al., "Macromolecular Crowding: The Next Frontier in Tissue Engineering", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 96, pp. 1-8, 2014