DAR 16-II Primes Endothelial Cells for Angiogenesis Improving Bone Ingrowth in 3D-Printed BCP Scaffolds and Regeneration of Critically Sized Bone Defects
Bone is a highly vascularized tissue and relies on the angiogenesis and response of cells in the immediate environmental niche at the defect site for regeneration. Hence, the ability to control angiogenesis and cellular responses during osteogenesis has important implications in tissue-engineered strategies. Self-assembling ionic-complementary peptides have received much interest as they mimic the natural extracellular matrix. Three-dimensional (3D)-printed biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds coated with self-assembling DAR 16-II peptide provide a support template with the ability to recruit and enhance the adhesion of cells. In vitro studies demonstrated prompt the adhesion of both human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC), favoring endothelial cell activation toward an angiogenic phenotype. The SEM-EDS and protein micro bicinchoninic acid (BCA) assays demonstrated the efficacy of the coating. Whole proteomic analysis of DAR 16-II-treated HUVECs demonstrated the upregulation of proteins involved in cell adhesion (HABP2), migration (AMOTL1), cytoskeletal re-arrangement (SHC1, TMOD2), immuno-modulation (AMBP, MIF), and morphogenesis (COL4A1). In vivo studies using DAR-16-II-coated scaffolds provided an architectural template, promoting cell colonization, osteogenesis, and angiogenesis. In conclusion, DAR 16-II acts as a proactive angiogenic factor when adsorbed onto BCP scaffolds and provides a simple and effective functionalization step to facilitate the translation of tailored 3D-printed BCP scaffolds for clinical applications.