Using Plant Proteins to Develop Composite Scaffolds for Cell Culture Applications

Linzhi Jing, Jie Sun, Hang Liu, Xiang Wang, Dejian Huang

Article ID: 298
Vol 7, Issue 1, 2021, Article identifier:298

VIEWS - 433 (Abstract) 172 (PDF)


Electrohydrodynamic printing (EHDP) is capable of fabricating micro- to nano-scale fibrous scaffolds for three-dimensional (3D) cell cultures and tissue engineering applications. One of the major bottlenecks that limits the widespread EHDP is the lack of biomaterial ink solutions with tunable mechanical, chemical, and biological properties. In this work, we blend plant protein nanoparticles with synthetic polymer poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) to develop composite biomaterial inks, such as PCL/gliadin and PCL/zein for EHDP scaffold fabrication. The tensile test results showed that the composite materials with a relatively small amount of plant protein nanoparticles, such as PCL/gliadin-10, PCL/zein-10 can significantly increase both Young’s modulus and yield stress of the fabricated scaffolds. These scaffolds are further evaluated by culturing mouse embryonic fibroblasts (NIH/3T3) cells, and proven to enhance cell adhesion and proliferation, apart from temporary inhibition effects for PCL/gliadin-20 scaffold at the initial growth stage. After these plant protein nanoparticles are gradually released into culture medium, the generated nanoporous structures on the scaffolds are also favorable to cellular attachment, migration, and proliferation. As competent candidates to upregulate cell biological behaviors in 3D microenvironment, such composite scaffolds manifest a great potential in drug screening and 3D in vitro model development.     


Composite biomaterials ink; Electrohydrodynamics; Additive manufacturing

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