Using Mean Field Theory to Guide Biofunctional Materials Design


Cell-instructive characteristics of extracellular matrices (ECM) resulting from a subtle balance of biomolecular and biophysical signals must be recapitulated in engineered biomaterials to facilitate regenerative therapies. However, no material explored so far allows the independent tuning of the involved molecular and phys- ical cues due to the inherent correlation between biopolymer concentration and material properties. Addressing the resulting challenge, a rational design strategy for ECM-inspired biohybrid hydrogels based on multi-armed poly(ethylene glycol) and heparin, adapting a mean field approach to identify conditions at which the balance of elastic, electrostatic, and excluded volume forces results in constant heparin concentrations within swollen polymer networks with gradually varied physical properties is introduced. Applying heparin-based biofunctionalization schemes, multiple distinct combinations of matrix parameters could be identified to effectively stimulate the pro-angiogenic state of human endothelial cells and the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. The study demonstrates the power of joint theoretical and experimental efforts in creating bioactive mate- rials with specifically and independently controllable characteristics.


Projects: A3.2: Cross-talk of signaling pathways and endocytic machinery in hepato..., A3.3: Hepatocyte polarity, A3.5: The impact of cell polarity on metabolism detoxification and endoc..., B3: Intercellular communication through cell adhesion

Adv. Funct. Mater.
Adv. Funct. Mater. 22(7) : 1391
10th Apr 2012

Uwe Freudenberg, Jens-Uwe Sommer, Kandice R. Levental, Petra B. Welzel, Andrea Zieris, Karolina Chwalek, Katja Schneider, Silvana Prokoph, Marina Prewitz, Ron Dockhorn, Carsten Werner

help Authors

[Marina Prewitz] [Carsten Werner]

help Attributions


help Scales

Not Specified
Views: 1788
  • Created: 29th Nov 2012 at 16:44
  • Last updated: 24th Oct 2013 at 16:16

Related items


Log in / Register

Need an account?
Sign up

Forgotten password?

Front Page

Virtual Liver Network


Related Projects and friends

Imprint Taverna workflow workbench myExperiment JWS Online ISATAB myGrid Sabio-RK BioPortal Semantic SBML

Powered by:


Silk icons 1.3
Crystal Clear icons