|Authors||Erndt-Marino JD, Jimenez-Vergara AC, Diaz-Rodriguez P, Kulwatno J, Diaz-Quiroz JF, Thibeault S, Hahn MS|
|Journal||J. Biomed. Mater. Res. Part B Appl. Biomater.|
|Publish Date||2017 Jun 05|
Scarring of the vocal fold lamina propria can lead to debilitating voice disorders that can significantly impair quality of life. The reduced pliability of the scar tissue-which diminishes proper vocal fold vibratory efficiency-results in part from abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition by vocal fold fibroblasts (VFF) that have taken on a fibrotic phenotype. To address this issue, bioactive materials containing cytokines and/or growth factors may provide a platform to transition fibrotic VFF within the scarred tissue toward an anti-fibrotic phenotype, thereby improving the quality of ECM within the scar tissue. However, for such an approach to be most effective, the acute host response resulting from biomaterial insertion/injection likely also needs to be considered. The goal of the present work was to evaluate the anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory capacity of an injectable hydrogel containing tethered basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in the dual context of scar and biomaterial-induced acute inflammation. An in vitro co-culture system was utilized containing both activated, fibrotic VFF and activated, pro-inflammatory macrophages (MΦ) within a 3D poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel containing tethered bFGF. Following 72 h of culture, alterations in VFF and macrophage phenotype were evaluated relative to mono-culture and co-culture controls. In our co-culture system, bFGF reduced the production of fibrotic markers collagen type I, α smooth muscle actin, and biglycan by activated VFF and promoted wound-healing/anti-inflammatory marker expression in activated MΦ. Cumulatively, these data indicate that bFGF-containing hydrogels warrant further investigation for the treatment of vocal fold lamina propria scar. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2017.