Incorporation of human recombinant tropoelastin into silk fibroin membranes with the view to repairing Bruch’s membrane

Shadforth, Audra, Suzuki, Shuko, Alzonne, Raphaelle, Edwards, Grant, Richardson, Neil A., Chirila, Traian V., & Harkin, Damien G. (2015) Incorporation of human recombinant tropoelastin into silk fibroin membranes with the view to repairing Bruch’s membrane. Journal of Functional Biomaterials, 6(3), pp. 946-962.

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Bombyx mori silk fibroin membranes provide a potential delivery vehicle for both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components into diseased or injured tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of growing retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) on fibroin membranes with the view to repairing the retina of patients afflicted with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The goal of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of incorporating the ECM component elastin, in the form of human recombinant tropoelastin, into these same membranes. Two basic strategies were explored: (1) membranes prepared from blended solutions of fibroin and tropoelastin; and (2) layered constructs prepared from sequentially cast solutions of fibroin, tropoelastin, and fibroin. Optimal conditions for RPE attachment were achieved using a tropoelastin-fibroin blend ratio of 10 to 90 parts by weight. Retention of tropoelastin within the blend and layered constructs was confirmed by immunolabelling and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In the layered constructs, the bulk of tropoelastin was apparently absorbed into the initially cast fibroin layer. Blend membranes displayed higher elastic modulus, percentage elongation, and tensile strength (p < 0.01) when compared to the layered constructs. RPE cell response to fibroin membranes was not affected by the presence of tropoelastin. These findings support the potential use of fibroin membranes for the co-delivery of RPE cells and tropoelastin.

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ID Code: 87540
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Bombyx mori, Silk fibroin, Bruch's membrane, Retinal pigment epithelium, Age-related macular degeneration
DOI: 10.3390/jfb6030946
ISSN: 2079-4983
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomaterials (090301)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > TECHNOLOGY (100000) > MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY (100400) > Regenerative Medicine (incl. Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering) (100404)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Ophthalmology (111301)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Copyright Statement: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2015 04:49
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2015 22:45

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