Shear-aggregated fibronectin with anti-adhesive properties

O. A. Branford, R. A. Brown, D. A. McGrouther, A. O. Grobbelaar, V. Mudera

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    Biomaterials based on proteins, such as fibronectin, have the potential to guide cell and tissue behaviour during healing as a function of their unique mechanical and bioactive properties. Fibronectin has been reported as a scaffold for attachment of fibroblasts and subsequent deposition of collagen. We have recently developed a derivative process of shear-aggregated fibronectin that prevents cell attachment without causing cell death. This has potential applications in clinical situations where adhesions form across gliding surfaces and cause loss of function, e.g. peritoneal or flexor tendon adhesions. This in vitro study tested this derivative fibronectin biomaterial and its effects on aggressive adhesion-forming cells, using rabbit flexor tendon synovial fibroblasts. We investigated degradation of the novel biomaterial, and attachment of fibroblasts to glass coated with the biomaterial, relative to fibroblast attachment to uncoated and fibronectin-coated glass. We assessed infiltration of the derivative fibronectin biomaterial by fibroblasts and cytotoxicity of the biomaterial to fibroblasts. The interaction between fibroblasts and the derivative fibronectin biomaterial was visualized using time-lapse photography. The derivative fibronectin biomaterial dissolved by 88% of its mass by 3 weeks. Fibroblast attachment to the novel biomaterial was significantly reduced at 6 h. After 24 h of exposure to the novel biomaterial, fibroblasts did not migrate into it, there was no cell death and no attachment was seen using time-lapse. This novel derivative fibronectin biomaterial combines inhibition of fibroblast attachment with barrier effects and has suitable mechanical properties for surgical use in preventing adhesions in vivo. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-31
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


    • Anti-adhesion
    • Biomaterial
    • Cell attachment
    • Fibronectin
    • Interface
    • Tendon


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