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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of phenylboronic acid groups in copolymers on endothelial cell differentiation into capillary structures.

Copolymers (IABb) composed of N-isopropylacrylamide (I), N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-acrylamide (A), 3-acrylamidophenylboronic acid (B), and a hydrophobic comonomer, n-butyl methacrylate (b), were synthesized as cell culture substrata since we previously learned that bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) cultured on the phenylboronic acid-containing copolymer (IAB) differentiated into capillary structures after 26 days culture. The synthesized IABb copo ymers contained higher boron and amine moieties than the IAB copolymer. The results of the dynamic contact angle measurement revealed that IABb copolymer-coated surfaces showed a relatively hydrophobic nature, changing to hydrophilic in response to the aqueous environment. BAECs cultured on the copolymer substrata developed into capillary networks after 7 days. This is probably due to the enrichment of boron and amine segments in the vicinity of the hydrophilic copolymer surface, enhancing more pronounced interaction of boronates with cell membrane glycocalyx. The introduction of n-butyl methacrylate into the polymers might enhance the diffusion of the hydrophobic segments to the bulk polymers and the concentration of relatively hydrophilic segments at the outermost polymer surfaces by contact with water. A copolymer ( IAP) without boronic acid groups was also prepared using N-phenylacrylamide (P) as a comonomer instead of 3-acrylamidophenylboronic acid in the IAB copolymer to investigate the effect of boronic acid moieties on the capillary formation of the cultured cells. Although the endothelial cells seeded on the copolymer without boronic acid groups adhered during the early culture period, these cells showed neither proliferation nor differentiation and detached from the surface after 13 days. These results strongly support the opinion that the phenylboronic acid groups in the copolymers are responsible for the specific induction of tissue formation of BAECs through the interaction with glycoconjugates on the cell membranes.[1]


  1. Effect of phenylboronic acid groups in copolymers on endothelial cell differentiation into capillary structures. Aoki, T., Nagao, Y., Sanui, K., Ogata, N., Kikuchi, A., Sakurai, Y., Kataoka, K., Okano, T. Journal of biomaterials science. Polymer edition. (1997) [Pubmed]
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