eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2012   Volume No 24 – pages 90-106

Title: Control of microenvironmental cues with a smart biomaterial composite promotes endothelial progenitor cell angiogenesis

Author: A Aguirre, A González, M Navarro, Ó Castaño, JA Planell, E Engel

Address: Biomaterials for Regenerative Therapies Group, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Baldiri Reixac 15-21, Barcelona, Spain

E-mail: eengel at

Key Words: Calcium phosphate glass composite; smart biomaterial; endothelial progenitor cell; angiogenesis; mechanosensing; calcium-sensing receptor.

Publication date: July 24th 2012

Abstract: Smart biomaterials play a key role when aiming at successful tissue repair by means of regenerative medicine approaches, and are expected to contain chemical as well as mechanical cues that will guide the regenerative process. Recent advances in the understanding of stem cell biology and mechanosensing have shed new light onto the importance of the local microenvironment in determining cell fate. Herein we report the biological properties of a bioactive, biodegradable calcium phosphate glass/polylactic acid composite biomaterial that promotes bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) mobilisation, differentiation and angiogenesis through the creation of a controlled bone healing-like microenvironment. The angiogenic response is triggered by biochemical and mechanical cues provided by the composite, which activate two synergistic cell signalling pathways: a biochemical one mediated by the calcium-sensing receptor and a mechanosensitive one regulated by non-muscle myosin II contraction. Together, these signals promote a synergistic response by activating EPCs-mediated VEGF and VEGFR-2 synthesis, which in turn promote progenitor cell homing, differentiation and tubulogenesis. These findings highlight the importance of controlling microenvironmental cues for stem/progenitor cell tissue engineering and offer exciting new therapeutical opportunities for biomaterial-based vascularisation approaches and clinical applications.

Article download: Pages 90-106 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v024a07