Electrohydrodynamic Jet-Printed Ultrathin Polycaprolactone Scaffolds Mimicking Bruch’s Membrane for Retinal Pigment Epithelial Tissue Engineering

Hang Liu, Fan Wu, Renwei Chen, Yanan Chen, Kai Yao, Zengping Liu, Bhav Harshad Parikh, Linzhi Jing, Tiange Liu, Xinyi Su*, Jie Sun*, Dejian Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual loss and affects millions of people worldwide. Dysfunction of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is associated with the pathogenesis of AMD. The purpose of this work is to build and evaluate the performance of ultrathin scaffolds with an electrohydrodynamic jet (EHDJ) printing method for RPE cell culture. We printed two types of ultrathin (around 7 μm) polycaprolactone scaffolds with 20 μm and 50 μm pores, which possess mechanical properties resembling that of native human Bruch’s membrane and are biodegradable. Light microscopy and cell proliferation assay showed that adult human retinal pigment epithelial (ARPE-19) cells adhered and proliferated to form a monolayer on the scaffolds. The progress of culture matured on the scaffolds was demonstrated by immunofluorescence (actin, ZO-1, and Na+/K+-ATPase) and Western blot analysis of the respective proteins. The RPE cells cultured on EHDJ-printed scaffolds with 20 μm pores presented higher permeability, higher transepithelial potential difference, and higher expression level of Na+/K+-ATPase than those cultured on Transwell inserts. These findings suggest that the EHDJ printing can fabricate scaffolds that mimic Bruch’s membrane by promoting maturation of RPE cells to form a polarized and functional monolayered epithelium with potential as an in vitro model for studying retinal diseases and treatment methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number550
JournalInternational Journal of Bioprinting
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Electrohydrodynamic jet printing
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Retinal pigment epithelium
  • Ultrathin scaffolds

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