96-well Plate Platform for Evaluating Library of Biomaterials

     Figure 1. A 96-well plate in which two of the rows
have been coated  with a polymer mixed with a
fluorescing dye to demonstrate the uniformity of
the coatings.

    Figure 2. Cell growth (HDF- Human Dermal 
Fibroblast) and static contact angle of a methacrylate
library of polymers
     Various laboratories, including the Kohn Lab, have created libraries of polymers with a range of properties for use in biomedical applications.  However, lack of methods for high throughput evaluation of the polymers within the library has been a constraint on rapid screening of these polymers for specific applications.  To meet this need, the Kohn Lab has developed a technique to provide a large number of polymers in a convenient format for use by other laboratories.  We have completed the development of a method that deposits a select number of polymers from a methacrylate library onto 96-well plates (Figure 1).  We have tested this plate for fibrinogen adsorption, cell attachment and proliferation using 3T3 and human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) (Figure 2-top).  We also measured the static contact angles of these polymers independently and established that these polymers exhibit a wide range of hydrophilic/hydrophobic characteristics (Figure 2-bottom).  We are continuing our evaluation of these polymers for any potential modulation of target genes’ regulation that directs cellular functions such as differentiation, proliferation, inflammation and apoptosis.

     One of our collaborators, Dr. Julia Babensee from Georgia Institute of Technology, has evaluated this library of polymers to study the impact of polymeric biomaterials on dendritic cell (DC) phenotype.  Biomaterials are considered as agonists for DC maturation and could evoke an immune response when they are used with biological materials in therapeutic applications1. The goal of biomaterial design is to minimize this immune response, and Dr. Babensee and her team were able to screen this library of polymers to identify a polymer that induced as small a response as that of a negative control.  We intend to develop similar platforms for evaluating substrate-cell response in general, as well as for investigation of other characteristics such as protein adsorption on polymer surfaces relevant to biomedical applications. We invite additional collaborators in biomaterials and biological fields to take advantage of this platform to potentially accelerate their research.

1. Julia E. Babensee., “Interaction of dendritic cells with biomaterials”, Seminars in Immunology 20 (2008) 101–108

Project Leader: Pallassana Narayanan, PhD
Funding Source: RESBIO - The National Resource for Polymeric Biomaterials via the National Institutes of Health (NIH grant EB001046).