Collagen-hyaluronic acid scaffolds for adipose tissue engineering.
Three-dimensional (3-D) in vitro models of the mammary gland require a scaffold matrix that supports the development of adipose stroma within a robust freely permeable matrix. 3-D porous collagen-hyaluronic acid (HA: 7.5% and 15%) scaffolds were produced by controlled freeze-drying technique and crosslinking with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-carbodiimide hydrochloride. All scaffolds displayed uniform, interconnected pore structure (total porosity approximately 85%). Physical and chemical analysis showed no signs of collagen denaturation during the formation process. The values of thermal characteristics indicated that crosslinking occurred and that its efficiency was enhanced by the presence of HA. Although the crosslinking reduced the swelling of the strut material in water, the collagen-HA matrix as a whole tended to swell more and show higher dissolution resistance than pure collagen samples. The compressive modulus and elastic collapse stress were higher for collagen-HA composites. All the scaffolds were shown to support the proliferation and differentiation 3T3-L1 preadipocytes while collagen-HA samples maintained a significantly increased proportion of cycling cells (Ki-67+). Furthermore, collagen-HA composites displayed significantly raised Adipsin gene expression with adipogenic culture supplementation for 8 days vs. control conditions. These results indicate that collagen-HA scaffolds may offer robust, freely permeable 3-D matrices that enhance mammary stromal tissue development in vitro.