Exploring the cell–protein–mineral interfaces: Interplay of silica (nano)rods@collagen biocomposites with human dermal fibroblasts
Published on Jan 1, 2019
· DOI :10.1016/j.mtbio.2019.100004
Abstract The benefits of associating biological polymers with nanomaterials within functional bionanocomposite hydrogels have already been evidenced both in vitro and in vivo . However their development as effective biomaterials requires to understand and tune the interactions at the cell–protein–mineral ternary interface. With this purpose, we have studied here the impact of silica (nano)rods on the structural and rheological properties of type I collagen hydrogels and on the behavior of human dermal fibroblasts. High collagen concentrations were beneficial to the material mechanical properties, whereas silica rods could exert a positive effect on these at both low and high content. Electron microscopy evidenced strong bio–mineral interactions, emphasizing the true composite nature of these materials. In contrast, adhesion and proliferation studies showed that, despite these interactions, fibroblasts can discriminate between the protein and the inorganic phases and penetrate the collagen network to limit direct contact with silica. Such a divergence between physicochemical characteristics and biological responses has major implications for the prediction of the in vivo fate of nanocomposite biomaterials.