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Cell Adhesion and Spreading on Poly(D,L-lactic acid) Films Pre-Aged in Cell Medium



Ruby I. Chen, Nathan D. Gallant, Jack R. Smith, Matt J. Kipper, Carl G. Simon Jr.


From a biomaterials perspective, three primary events can occur when a biodegradable polymer is implanted in vivo: 1) polymer degradation, 2) protein adsorption to the polymer and 3) swelling of the polymer as it absorbs water. These actions can affect the polymer s physical properties, which could subsequently affect cell-material interactions and implant performance. In the current study, our goal was to test this concept using an in vitro model where cell adhesion and spreading were assessed during culture on poly(D,L-lactic acid) (PDLLA) films that had been pre-aged in cell medium for various times between 30 min and 1 week. In order to eliminate polymer degradation as a variable, short pre-aging times (? 1 week) and high molecular weight PDLLA (330-600 kDa) were used.PDLLA was pre-aged both in MWS and in SFM so that the effects from protein adsorption and polymer swelling could be separated. Changes in physical properties of the films were examined with water contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy. The results showed that pre-aging PDLLA films in cell medium affected cell adhesion, cell spreading, PDLLA contact angle, PDLLA surface morphology and PDLLA surface roughness. In addition, the effects on cell functions were dependent on pre-aging time. The results also showed that the effects of pre-aging time on cell response were caused more by changes in protein adsorption than by swelling of the PDLLA. Taken together, these data suggest that cell response to implants made from biodegradable polymers may change with time of implantation.


atomic force microscopy, biomaterials, cell adhesion, cell spreading, focal adhesion, FTIR, protein adsorption, tissue engineering, water contact angle


Chen, R. , Gallant, N. , Smith, J. , Kipper, M. and Simon, C. (2008), Cell Adhesion and Spreading on Poly(D,L-lactic acid) Films Pre-Aged in Cell Medium, Biomaterials, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created January 1, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017