Fibronectin-mediated endothelialisation of chitosan porous matrices

Isabel F. Amaral, Ronald E. Unger, Sabine Fuchs, Ana M. Mendonça, Susana R. Sousa, Mário A. Barbosa, Ana P. Pêgo, C. J. Kirkpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Chitosan (Ch) porous matrices were investigated regarding their ability to be colonized by human microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC-ST1.6R cell line) and macrovascular endothelial cells namely HUVECs. Specifically we assessed if previous incubation of Ch in a fibronectin (FN) solution was effective in promoting endothelial cell (EC) adhesion to Ch matrices with different degrees of acetylation (DAs). Upon FN physiadsorption, marked differences were found between the two DAs investigated, namely DA 4% and 15%. While cell adhesion was impaired on Ch with DA 15%, ECs were able to not only adhere to Ch with DA 4%, but also to spread and colonize the scaffolds, with retention of the EC phenotype and angiogenic potential. To explain the observed differences between the two DAs, protein adsorption studies using 125I-FN and immunofluorescent labelling of FN cell-binding domains were carried out. In agreement with the higher cell numbers found, scaffolds with DA 4% revealed a higher number of exposed FN cell-binding domains as well as greater ability to adsorb FN and to retain and exchange adsorbed FN in the presence of competitive proteins. These findings suggest that the DA is a key parameter modulating EC adhesion to FN-coated Ch by influencing the adsorbed protein layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5465-5475
Number of pages11
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Chitin/chitosan
  • Endothelial cell
  • Fibronectin
  • Protein adsorption
  • Scaffold


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