Engineering pro-angiogenic biomaterials via chemoselective extracellular vesicle immobilization

Extracellular Vesicles

Xing, Yunhui, Saigopalakrishna S. Yerneni, Weitao Wang, Rebecca E. Taylor, Phil G. Campbell, and Xi Ren. 2022. “Engineering Pro-Angiogenic Biomaterials via Chemoselective Extracellular Vesicle Immobilization.” Biomaterials 281 (February): 121357.

Nanoscale extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent a unique cellular derivative that reflect the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) toward tissue engineering and injury repair without the logistical and safety concerns of utilizing living cells. However, upon systemic administration in vivo,EVs undergo rapid clearance and typically lack controlled targeted delivery, thus reducing their effectiveness in therapeutic regenerative therapies. Here, we describe a strategy that enables long-term in vivo spatial EV retention by chemoselective immobilization of metabolically incoporated azido ligand-bearing EVs (azido-EVs) within a dibenzocyclooctyne-modified collagen hydrogel. MSC-derived azido-EVs exhibit comparable morphological and functional properties as their non-labeled EV counterparts and, when immobilized within collagen hydrogel implants via click chemistry, they elicited more robust host cell infiltration, angiogenic and immunoregulatory responses including vascular ingrowth and macrophage recruitment compared to ten times the higher dose required by non-immobilized EVs. We envision this technology will enable a wide range of applications to spatially promote vascularization and host integration relevant to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

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Recent Publications

Cigarette smoke (CS) represents one of the most relevant environmental risk factors for several chronic pathologies. Tissue damage caused by CS exposure is mediated, at least in part, by oxidative stress induced by its toxic and pro-oxidant components. Evidence demonstrates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by various cell types exposed to CS extract (CSE) are characterized by altered biochemical cargo and gained pathological properties. In the present study, we evaluated the content of oxidized proteins and phospholipid fatty acid profiles of EVs released by human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells treated with CSE. This specific molecular characterization has hitherto not been performed. After confirmation that CSE reduces viability of BEAS-2B cells and elevates intracellular ROS levels, in a dose-dependent manner, we demonstrated that 24 h exposure at 1% CSE, a concentration that only slight modifies cell viability but increases ROS levels, was able to increase carbonylated protein levels in cells and released EVs. The release of oxidatively modified proteins via EVs might represent a mechanism used by cells to remove toxic proteins in order to avoid their intracellular overloading. Moreover, 1% CSE induced only few changes in the fatty acid asset in BEAS-2B cell membrane phospholipids, whereas several rearrangements were observed in EVs released by CSE-treated cells. The impact of changes in acyl chain composition of CSE-EVs accounted for the increased saturation levels of phospholipids, a membrane parameter that might influence EV stability, uptake and, at least in part, EV-mediated biological effects. The present in vitro study adds new information concerning the biochemical composition of CSE-related EVs, useful to predict their biological effects on target cells. Furthermore, the information regarding the presence of oxidized proteins and the specific membrane features of CSE-related EVs can be useful to define the utilization of circulating EVs as marker for diagnosing of CS-induced lung damage and/or CS-related diseases.

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